Chad Faust, mostly known for his acting career, has made the big step to directing. For his first feature film, ‘Girl‘ he was able to attract none other than Academy Award nominee, Mickey Rourke and actor Bella Thorne. A revenge thriller with a bad ass female lead? Yes, please.
In ‘Girl‘, A young woman (Bella Thorne – ‘The Babysitter: Killer Queen‘) returns to her small hometown to exact revenge on her abusive father, only to discover someone murdered him the day before. As the girl searches for answers, she soon finds herself prey to a sinister sheriff (Mickey Rourke – ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For‘) and uncovers a family legacy more disturbing than she’d imagined.
This gritty thriller has some decent action scenes for an indie film. Girl, who remains unnamed throughout the film, carries a hatchet with her. When she arrives in the main street of a ghost town named, Golden, she quickly finds most of the remaining folks all huddled up in the local bar. Once she starts asking one too many questions, the mood inside this establishment visibly changes. Fortunately, Girl knows how to handle herself, which suddenly turns the level of insanity up to the next level. On the tunes of Dillon Baldassero‘s nerve-pushing score, Girl finds herself in the middle of nowhere, without any phone service, wary of whomever tries to get close to her. The brooding vibe doesn’t let go at all, while age old secrets unravel and new mysteries get unlocked.
For such a low budget project, I must admit, it’s all pretty damn impressive. I’ve always felt like Thorne is constantly being judged on what she does in her personal life that then gets plastered all over social media, while in fact she seems to have a very strong personality and the much needed professional drive to get the job done. The fact that she can handle herself right beside Faust (who directs, wrote and stars) and the iconic Rourke, says a lot about her perseverance and talent. At a certain point Faust and Thorne face off in a laundromat. Hatchet throwing and washing-powder-blowing-action galore, that not only makes your heart beat faster, but is also a tad bit silly.
This is most of all thanks to Faust’s somewhat comedic performance of a horny twentysomething charmer. Rourke plays the town’s sheriff and doesn’t get much to do, yet delivers his lines with the broodiness we’ve come to expect from him. Bad cops, extortion, torture, lies… nothing’s too crazy for this small town. When another action sequence commences in the nearby woods, in which Girl is being chased by a quad bike, the film kicks into higher gear to then come to a halt in its final act in order to give the viewer some answers and reveal the by then expected twists. Some of the motivations are rather vague and unclear, and the dialogue isn’t always the strongest. Writing is definitely something Faust can improve on when considering his next project.
The insane rage can be read off of Thorne’s face, who knows exactly what she’s doing, and it works all the way through. The final scene of the film caught me by surprise, forcing a highly emotional reaction out of me. Why did you have to do me like that?! Once again, Thorne presents a different layer of what for sure is a career best performance, leaving me fan girling over whatever she stars in next. 2020 has been wild, I tell you!
Genre fans will thoroughly enjoy Faust’s deranged tale of vengeance. He damn sure knows how to make an entrance.
In Select Theaters November 20, Available on VOD November 24
Review – ‘Girl’
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), November 4, 2020. Rating: TBC. Running time: 92 min.
PRODUCTION: A ScreenMedia Films release in association with Anamorphic Media, Envision Media Arts of a Fella Films, Trilight Entertainment production. Producers: Thomas Michael, Shayne Putzlocher, Sara Shaak. Executive producers: Dave Duckett, Joe Ferraro, Jean Pierre Magro, Conor McAdam, Jason Moring, Al Morrison, Seth Needle, Lee Nelson, David Tish.
CREW: Director/screenplay: Chad Faust. Editor: Gloria Tong. Cinematography: Kristofer Bonnell. Score: Dillon Baldassero.
WITH: Bella Thorne, Mickey Rourke, Chad Faust, Lanette Ware, Glen Gould, Elizabeth Saunders.