Blake Rider (director)
February 15, 2022 (published)
February 14, 2022
The pair get a bit prickly during the conversation, and Ed alludes to mental health issues when talking to his boss. It’s not passing Grace and her suspicions are aroused when she finds blood on the corner of the table and on Liv’s clothes. Putting things together Grace comes to conclusions, even if she isn’t clean as a whistle herself.
The film has a luxurious appearance that belies the obvious low budget with writer and director Blake Ridder using the widescreen ratio to full effect, whether on reflective conversational segments or when things heat up towards the end.
He is also very generous with the actors, giving them plenty of space to work on the script. It is however sometimes too open with a rhythm involving a languor which saps part of the momentum leaving it sometimes in the doldrums.
Despite all the built-up tension, there is an element of predictability about it, which can be swept aside as there is solid work from the cast as the viewer grapples with the effects of physical and mental abuse. It’s somewhat undone with the plot twisted towards the end.
Nonetheless, given that Help was made in twelve days, under Covid restrictions, with the crew and cast essentially kept in one location, this is an impressive feature debut from Blake Ridder.
Help is available as a digital download from February 15.