BAD SAMARITAN is a superior example of the serial killer thriller genre.
Opening in 2000 theatres in May 2018, the film did not do well in its three week run ( making only $3,435,047 ) . It’s distributor , Electric Entertainment, who produced several television and theatrical co productions) has released three motion pictures ,all of which had high profile stars (BLACKWAY starring Anthony Hopkins in 2016; LBJ directed by Rob Reiner and starring Woody Harrelson in the title role in 2017; and now this film) but have not registered a blip on the radar financially. The real shame is that two of them films(I have not seen BLACKWAY to honestly comment) are superb motion pictures.
Back to BAD SAMARITAN . Directed by Dean Devlin (INDEPENDENCE DAY) with true style , and a clever screenplay by actor writer Brandon Boyce ( his skill as a thriller writer were in full view in his adaptation of Stephen King‘s APT PUPIL ,Columbia,1998), the film, set in present day Portland Oregon ,makes full use of modern technology .
Amateur photographer Sean Falco (Irish actor Robert Sheehan , who appeared in Devlin‘s noisy but empty GEOSTORM ,WB/Electric ,2017) also works with his best friend Derek (Carlito Olivero , who began in show biz as a lead singer in a revamped Menudo ) parking cars at an upper class restaurant. This job also allows them to pilfer the homes of those in the eatery, since it is obvious that they are not home, often using the victim’s own cars to drive to and from the burglary! Sean takes mostly items that won’t be noticed ,such as photographing a gift card’s info and number, as the card itself isn’t needed to purchase items online.
One day a rich self centered Cale Erendreich (an absolutely terrific David Tennant, making one forget his DR WHO persona for BBC TV from 2005-2010) drives up in a $200,000 Maserati ,and his attitude spurs Sean to go to Cale’s home and rob it. However, when he breaks in, he finds a woman bound and gagged (Irish actress Kerry Condon ,from AMC tv‘s BETTER CALL SAUL ,2015-present). He ungags her but she points out that the house is wired to be control and surveilled remotely by Cale from his phone . In a moment, Sean gets fearful and yells I’m sorry to the imprisoned woman ,and flees.
Ah, the glamorous life of a film actress.
Getting the car back to a waiting Cale, a guilt ridden Sean contacts the police, which brings him to the attention of Cale . Cale decides that Sean needs correcting ,and thus begins to systematically destroy everything that the young man cherishes , while the police find Sean’s stories less than credible, especially when they check out Cale’s home and discover nothing.
The tale becomes then one where not only must Sean try and save the unknown woman, but he must also try and hang onto his own existence.
Interestingly, three of the main leads are from the U.K., with Tennant and Condon mastering American accents, while Sheehan is allowed to use his natural Irish accent).
Cinematography by David Connell (who had worked with Devlin on the tv series, THE LIBRARIANS( Electric , 2014-8) is sharp ,and makes marvelous use of cold blues as well as sterile clean white rooms . The music by Joshua LoDuca ( tv’s ASH VS THE EVIL DEAD , Renaissance/Starz,2015-18)is quite superb at underlining and supporting the suspense ,with several well placed stings to accentuate jump moments.
Is he more creepy dead eyed and emotionless?
or more creepy smirking ?
The film is definitely worth seeking out, and has been released on DVD and Blu Ray from Sony Home Entertainment. The Blu Ray is Region A ,and features a running audio commentary by Devlin and Boyce, as well as deleted scenes as well as optional subtitles.
It can also be rented/ purchased on AMAZON PRIME (available for free viewing to Amazon Prime Subscribers. https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Samaritan-David-Tennant/dp/B07F1P5L19/ref=tmm_aiv_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Seek out the BAD SAMARITAN, and pray that he does not seek YOU out.
Kevin G Shinnick
Like & /or Follow SCARLET THE FILM MAGAZINE REVIEWS HERE
or and on FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/SCARLETreviews/
To keep up with new articles ,reviews, and contests .
Feel free to share our articles and reviews.