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September 2011

Second Coming

cast: Juliet Reeves, Gregg Thompson, Michael Ray Davis

director: Jose Zambrano Cassella

89 minutes (15) 2009
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
2020 DVD Region 2

RATING: 4/10
review by A.E. Grace

Second Coming

Second Coming follows photographer Lora as she searches for the murderer of her identical twin sister, who leaves clues about her death from beyond the grave. The movie is sold and presented as a horror flick, complete with freaky twins, messages from the dead and a murder most foul. However, I disagree that this movie is of the horror genre. Whilst there are elements present, they're actually few and far between. Rather, I'd say this was more of a dramatic thriller with the odd scene of a ghost thrown in for kicks.

The plot is pretty linear and predictable, whilst its mystery elements do little but humour the viewer who has already got it all figured out. The footage itself is crudely cut at times, and the low-budget makes its horror components appear amateurish and cheap in certain areas, whilst getting away with it in others. The story, being a beloved cliché of the bond between twins, doesn't give the viewer much to contemplate.

Having said that, Second Coming is appealing in parts: the acting is uninspiring yet competent, and Greg Thompson in particular stood out for me, purely for the fact that he looks remarkably like Hugo Weaving! The resemblance meant that I could marvel at his Weavingness and distract myself from the banal story; an opportunity not to be scoffed at.

For a film with a budget of just $400,000 I am impressed. Whilst it is crude on the whole, it still makes for a decent background film on a rainy day. The settings and scenery are mixed and varied, making it quite tangible and pretty true to real life. However, it lacks a lot of cinematic presence as a result, and when scenes of supposed terror occur they are out of place and lacklustre.

The plot is interesting enough to hold my notice for the most part, but little splashes of horror do little more than stir me from my nonchalance every now and then. The characters are three-dimensional and believable, which does the film a lot of credit even if it is your run-of-the-mill drama/ thriller. If you're looking for pure horror you'll be disappointed, but a plain old drama with a few hints of horror isn't as terrible as it sounds. In fact, you might just prefer to see some old faithful as opposed to the monstrous dress-up-shop efforts some directors make with just 400K to spend.

Whilst I wasn't blown away, I was impressed by the product as a result of such a low budget. Not only that, but it did introduce me to some indie actors and passed an hour or so quite comfortably on a rainy day. This might not be groundbreaking stuff, but honestly, you could do a lot worse.



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