Maritza Brikisak, Keith Rommel
Cailean is a troubled woman. Since her youth, it seems as though hardship has always been just a step behind. From abuse as a child to a difficult family life - I think it's safe to say Cailean's rocky adulthood would be no surprise to anyone. Her alcoholism, and often abrasive actions, are just manifested forms of her troubled mind. When her son Beau looses the use of his legs while on her watch, the trip down the self abusive rabbit hole only increases. Cailean wants to help herself... but is seemingly unable. A tune a lot of people can relate with. Life is hard. Dealing with it is harder.
It's only when her potential end is near, as Cailean is wheeled into the hospital, that a true purpose finally reveals itself... in the form of an angel. An angel of death. Through a series of life flashbacks, Cailean is forced to relive and understand certain... aspects and choices of her life. She is forced to accept that although she may not be completely responsible for her bad choices, she is responsible for allowing them to take place. What is the true purpose of the angel in her head? Is he real or imagined? And, if he is real - what are his intentions? How does Cailean fit into this madness? Is it even madness at all? "The Lurking Man" is a story of redemption with a supernatural twist. It explores addiction, free will and yes... even angels and demons.
At first I wasn't sure I was going to like this film. Just putting that out there. The first few minutes felt disjointed and frankly? A little weird. As the story began to unfold and things fell into place, I found myself strangely hooked on what was happening in front of me. To write that "The Lurking Man" grew on me, as I watched, is an understatement. As all the seemingly unfortunate events and happenings in Cailean's life began to reveal their connections - I couldn't help but become more and more interested. During the final act and the big reveal... I won't go so far as to say I was shocked... but it all made perfect sense and wrapped things up nicely. Sariel, Cailean's guide if you will, presented an interesting plot turn at the end. One that I feel not only made everything work... but added a unique bread-crumb to hold onto - if I decided to watch the film again. Would I? Yes. It's safe to assume I probably would/will.
As this was a low budget indie flick, some good decisions and planning had to be done to get the best bang for the buck - and those decisions were made correctly. In my opinion anyhow. The supernatural elements were handled in a very effective, yet cost efficient way. Focusing more on the characters than the settings. So how did this film look when it's all said and done? Nicely. Some crisp, clear visuals and easy to hear audio. I can't say that every shot was perfect - but those imperfect ones were so few I can't actually remember specifics. When it comes to the look and feel of this indie flick - I really have no complaints. Save maybe an awkward edit here or there.
Where "The Lurking Man" really shines is the cast portrayals. As an indie film, "The Lurking Man" has really outdone itself. Maritza Brikisak, as Cailean, hit all the right markers. Her character is meant to be troubled, but with a good heart - and that comes through loud and clear. It's easy to understand her, yet sometimes hard to relate. If that makes any sense? During the big reveal at the end, I had to give even more credit because most of what she had done prior - made total sense. I also got to say I really dig her character range near the end. That was fun!
Daniel Lench, as Cailean's guide, also did a fantastic job. Adding an almost poetic or dance-y feel to all the scenes he was in. At first, I must admit he felt a little cliche in the role - but rather quickly that feeling faded. The serious, even sad tone of his character seemed to increase scene by scene. In the end? Very effective.
The truth is that even the supporting cast members all performed much better than I ever expected. I actually can't think of anyone who felt strange or awkward. A play by play of each character would take forever so let me just write this. Nobody stood out - and I mean that in the best of ways. Everyone just seemed to fit nicely into this fictional world unfolding on my screen. A tribute to the hard work of the entire cast. Thumbs up.
When it's all said and done, "The Lurking Man" did the trick. It kept me watching until the credits rolled - and that's what matters. For whatever reason, this film has a look and feel that I can't quite describe. A unique quality just outside my ability to express. Maybe not for the run and gun film fan, but definitely up my alley. A solid four stars.