After two years upon its initial release, Pretty Fine Things, earned official distribution through Wild Eye Releasing and is currently available on Amazon Prime, all a great success from a microbudget extraordinaire from Ryan Scott Weber. Many know of Weber’s creations such as Witches Blood (2014) and Sherriff Tom Vs. The Zombies (2013), and he’s one the originators of the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival, but when it comes to filmmaking he always strives to make the most with very financial means, thereby showing his skill set. This time, he brings a murder thriller, with plenty of horror overtones, while not exactly making it a slasher film and includes both Andrew Divoff and Lynn Lowry into cameo roles.
One of the first things about Pretty Fine Things that standouts clearly is the name of the town, in peaceful Bernardsville, New Jersey, why is it significant, often horror movies use fictious city names, and it makes for a tad interesting storyline, a real place holding real secrets. The film surrounds the Banner family, namely Walter (Joe Parascand) whose family traditions involve homicidal pleasures and feeding the obsession on young women. As accustomed in these flicks the police remain either uninformed or clueless and the families feeling abandoned to mourn their love one’s loss senseless victims to sick brutality. I’ll not to expose too much of the plot with spoilers so other horror fans can find enjoyment in this movie, but Walter dealing some mother issues and other society misfit problems, begins renting his second home, for extra money this time to group of young college girls, seeking a place to have a party. The ladies, Hayden (Emelia Brawn) often teased by everyone, Ashley (Camila Perez) and Wendy (Lauren Renahan), arrive, and have their own private glance and secrets among themselves. In an ambitious maneuver of Weber, he also stars in the film as one of two police detectives Jake and Jennifer (Kristin Accardi), and their Captain (Christopher J. Murphy). The story jumps quite a bit, as it tries accommodating all the weaving storylines, yet does well especially in the second half of the movie, the party transitioning into a bloodbath.
However, assisted both of Parascand, strange antics feel he placed self-imposed limitations, perhaps the indulgence of wild behaviors thought too absurd. Nevertheless, his family ups the lunacy factor Conrad Banner, (Ralph Cobert) Walter’s father going blind and suffering from dementia missing his late wife (Lynn Lowry, well-known to the horror audiences), struggling to survive his downward spiral in life. Soon joined by his other two creepy sons, Thomas (Patrick Devaney (Theta States (2017))) and James (Adam Ginsberg (ZK: Elephant’s Graveyard (2015))), all coming together to remove the sinners of the world, to please the memory of the mother, clearly a few references back to Norman Bates and Psycho (1960). This all sounds complex, but makes for an interesting horror tale, and well worth at least one view by the fans of indie filmmaking to go any further easily risks exposing too much of the plot.
As for a few of the technical aspects, first the positive elements, the blood shedding speeds up in the second half (but not buckets of blood), as previously mentioned as customary when a party starts the bloodbath begins too. Parascand nails his role, phenomenally well, Divoff gives a sound performance, and Lowry provides a memorable role. She excels in the rule no small parts, rather making the most of her character and providing a good creep factor. The movie needs a bit more of editing not much 8-minutes, it stumbles briefly with some unnecessary padding, thereby telling a straightforward story. Lastly, a few times the steadicam operator, struggles with keeping a balance shot, losing a tight framing, easily spotted, but this nuance overlooked easily.
Weber delivers some unexpected twists, creating a motivated production for the low-budgeted fans to enjoy, thought at times it feels he restrained both story and characters, especially the Banner family, perhaps concerned it felt too silly. Overall, a production that delivers Pretty Fine Things for the fans to enjoy.
IMDb Rating: 4.4/10
Baron’s Rating: 5/10