Max (Booboo Stewart) is a nice guy who just wants to meet a nice girl to take home to his sick mother. Eventually the algorithm connects him to Avery (Scarlett Sperduto). Things get off to a rocky start after someone calls in a bomb threat at the local movie theatre, so they decide to go for a walk through the sleepy town instead. Avery buys them a bottle of alcohol, specifically designed to get poor college students wasted, and they go on an adventure at her request; breaking into a haunted house.

Max goes along with it to humor himself and try something new. But after a few weird coincidences, Max wants out. It’s not until Avery reveals her true intentions that Max sees that he needs to pull himself together and out of that house before he’s devoured by Rotcreep, a demon who’s very, very hungry.

Dating is terrible. You never know how it’s going to go and the entire time you want to project the illusion that you’re interested in the other person. In certain cases the other person could be a compulsive liar who wants to sacrifice you to a demon in order to save a family member. In any case, the moral of the story is, be careful before you decide to swipe right.

Director Robert Rippberger along with writer Spencer Moleda twist the trope of damsel in distress into a modern tale of why to distrust people on dating apps. Shot in real time from beginning to end, this movie attempts to make you feel as if you’re right there watching all of this unfold. Those Who Walk Away is a modest thriller that does the best it can with the resources it has to create a sense of danger with a character that we can empathize with while he’s on his journey. Props to the actors for keeping it together during the very long takes and to the crew for every trick they pulled to change sets with seconds to spare.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Reviewed February 14, 2022 (screener provided by publicist). Rating: TBC. Running time: 94 min. 

PRODUCTION: A VMI Releasing release of an Argentic Productions & SIE Films production, in association with Slated & Sandeep Sekhar Films. Producers: KT Kent & Robert Rippberger. Executive producers: Mark Andrews, Gaurav Bhatnagar, Jay Burnley, Ryan Cota, Stephanie Denton, Guilhem Desq, Eric Eppinger, Francesco Fabris, Ge Gru, Kacper Habisiak, Wes Hull, Dave Lugo, Todd Lundbohm, David Lyons, Jarnell Stokes, Chelsea Tieu & Jeremy Walton.

CREW: Director: Robert Rippberger. Writers: Spencer Moleda & Robert Rippberger. Editing: Gabriel Cullen. Cinematography: Diego Cordero. Music: Dmitrii Miachin.

CAST: Booboo Stewart, Scarlett Sperduto, Nils Allen Stewart, Nancy Harding, Grant Morningstar, Bryson JonSteele, Devin Keaton, Josh Bradshaw, Connor McKinley Griffin, Michael Holub & Daryl Anisfeld.

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