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Case Number 13402

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Between

Porchlight Entertainment // 2008 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 11th, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson has journeyed to the other side. But the other side of what?

The Charge

Fear is what lies between…

Opening Statement

In this psychological thriller, Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) stars as a mentally tortured woman besieged by visions of her endangered sister.

Facts of the Case

Nadine Roberts (Montgomery) is tottering on the verge of bat-@#$% craziness. She can't sleep and suffers from frequent panic attacks, thanks to recurring dreams about her sister, who vanished in Tijuana without a trace. Hey, Poppy Montgomery is in a show called Without a Trace!

Desperate to get the bottom of her disappearance she drops everything, bids farewell to her boyfriend and heads to Mexico. While there, the visions get worse and she finds herself enveloped in vivid, walking nightmares. With the help of a sympathetic Tijuana detective, she must to follow the clues and the footsteps of her sister, who may or not exist somewhere…well, between.

The Evidence

I'll be the first to confess I have little use for the "psychological terror" genre. It's a solid category, I'm sure, and no doubt appeals to a wide variety of movie-lovers, but I often have difficulty stomaching the purposefully dragged-out pacing, the cheap jump scares and the contrived plot twists that virtually all of these movies invest heavily in. And if the shock ending doesn't deliver, the overall experience of the film could be compromised.

That disclaimer put firmly in place, I will now admit that Between isn't too shabby. And if someone like me, ambivalent to the genre, can glean entertainment from it, fans would almost certainly enjoy it more. The movie excels at going crazy, mirroring the psychosis of its protagonist and projecting it toward the viewer. When the clock ticks down to the 60-minute mark, the serpentine plot kicks into crazy overdrive and as Nadine tailspins deeper and deeper into her lunacy, the narrative follows suit, all the way until the big reveal at the end.

Which is pretty good, actually. The title kind of gives away the game and as the film rolls along you'll probably be able to pin this denouement down with little problem. It's still satisfying, and despite the moderate predictability of the scenario, the absolute finale still holds some suspense. And the resolution proves to be both surprising and touching.

Poppy Montgomery handles pretty much all of the dramatic load and she does a bang-up job. Maybe it's fairly easy to do "crazy roles"—and fun, I'm sure—but Montgomery deserves credit for going whole-hog in her portrayal.

Between receives a fine-looking 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, clean and finely detailed throughout. The 5.1 digital surround excels during the dream sequences when the ambient sound is strongest. Director David Ocanas's commentary is the lone extra.

Closing Statement

Between is an entertaining, well-executed psychological mind-@#$%. Scope it out if that kind of thing appeals to you.

The Verdict

Not guilty. Rest in peace.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 85
Extras: 70
Acting: 80
Story: 85
Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Porchlight Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 2.40:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Drama
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Trailer

Accomplices

• IMDb








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