The Group – Frightfest Movie Review
Director: William Higo
Writer: William Higo (Screenplay)
- Evangelina Burton
- Jennifer Aries (The Last Letter From Your Lover)
- Dylan Baldwin (DeadDog)
- Tom Coulston
- Luke Dayhill
Plot: A support group for addicts comes under siege from a mysterious gunman, intent on punishing them for a past tragedy. All with something to hide, the group must confront their shared past to discover the truth and stay alive.
Runtime: 1 Hour 11 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Group starts as Kara (Burton) returns to a support group after her latest slip off the wagon. Ellen (Novak) runs the group for addicts, which sees Charley (Aries), Henry (Coulston), Seth (Dayhill) and Dave (Kelson). The group is at a different stage of their recovery, with the meetings helping them in different ways.
When a gunman Jack (Baldwin) turns up, he changes the meeting. He forces the group to address their mistakes, or he will kill them. Jack is in complete control of the situation, as they are left wondering why he has targeted them.
Verdict on The Group
Kara is a junkie that almost died, now she is searching for help once again, returning to the support group. She is welcomed back, despite people questioning how seriously she is willing to take this. Once the group gets held captive, she seems to be the one that takes control of the hostages, trying to talk sense into the gunman.
Jack is a gunman who has taken the support group hostage. He wants to see who in the group can prove themselves worthy of walking out the door. Jack forces them to give up their secrets and if things aren’t kept in control, he will kill anyone. He never loses control of the group and has his own motivation for doing this.
Seth, Henry, Dave and Charley are the other addicts who are at different stages of their recovery. This gives them a chance to address the problems they have had in the past and how they are trying to fix their future.
This is a movie with some strong acting from the cast, who are nearly always in the same room. Dylan Baldwin demands a presence with his controlling character. Tom Coulston makes us hate his character even as the character gets branded the ‘asshole’. Evangelina Burton is great as the one that is filled with the most regret about a previous event. While Jennifer Aries shows us a character who won’t stop fighting her addictions, being the strongest-willed in the room.
The story follows an addiction support group that gets taken hostage by a gunman, who forces them to reveal their biggest secrets. This leads to the uncovering of the worst things they have done because of their addictions.
The story brings plenty of tension because the gunman is shown to have a short temper. It shows how addicts who are on the road to recovery are still dealing with the pains of their past lives. We get a mystery about why the gunman has selected this group, which slowly gets unfolded. There could have been a little bit more focus on a couple of the other characters involved, but otherwise, this keeps you on edge throughout.
The Group is a suspenseful thriller that uses the hall for the support group meeting as the prime setting. It is a quiet spell that wouldn’t normally get interrupted by any casually walking by, giving the gunman full control. Where the movie shines, is with the mystery about what is going on, as the uncertainty is shown in the unstable nature of the hostages.
Final Thoughts –The Group is a tense thriller, with plenty of mystery and suspense.