Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pig Pen

Director - Jason Koch (Lamplight, 7th Day)
Starring - Nicolette le Faye (The Chainsaw Sally Show, Call Girl of Cthulhu), Vito Trigo (Science Team, Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol. 1), and Lucas Koch (Witch's Brew, 7th Day)
Release Date - 2015
Genre - Drama/Thriller
Tagline - "A runaway returns for revenge"
Format - BluRay (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Dire Wit Films has come to be a staple in my home over the last few years ever since I came across Isle of the Damned and Pleasures of the Damned on Netflix several years ago.  Since then I have followed them closely and when a new film is announced I often find myself becoming anxious with anticipation.  Since then I have been lucky enough to review Mutantis and 7th Day.  Several months back director and special effects artist Jason Koch announced that he would be hitting the director's chair one more time with a new dramatic thriller titled Pig Pen.  Just like with the others, I could not wait to see this one.  Not long ago Jason let me know that he had a few copies of the film available for review and I graciously accepted it and I am damn glad I did.
     The film follows 13 year old Zach (Koch) who lives with his single mother.  She is a loving mother but she is a struggling pill addict.  Her boyfriend supplies them to her along with money for bills and groceries.  He is a hustler and will get money any way he can and is not afraid to crack a few skulls if need be.  One day he finds himself in a horrible mood and forces Zach out on the streets to make up some quick cash.  Zach quickly learns that life is hard and the only way he will ever find happiness is if her mother's boyfriend is out of the picture.  Sadly, this is something that is easier said than done.  Soon Zach finds himself playing cat and mouse with this horrible man and several people that tries to aid him in his journey pays a high price.
     When Pig Pen was first announced I was under the impression it was a horror flick in the same line as 7th Day unlike their other films.  However, I soon learned that Pig Pen would be Dire Wit's departure from the genre.  Honestly, I didn't care what genre it was.  I was truly excited to finally get a new Dire Wit film.  With that being said, Dire Wit is known for their horror comedies and now they have etched a place for themselves on top of the dramatic thriller list with this near perfect film.  The acting in this one is great.  Lucas Koch does a solid job as the teenage runaway but his age and lack of experience shows in several scenes.  He was great and I can see this youth going far in cinema but a few scenes were a little awkward to watch as he was unable to nail down the desired emotion.  We also get an amazing performance from Nicolette le Faye which is no surprise.  Le Faye has been in some of my favorite films and has always nailed her role.  She is as beautiful as she is talented.  My favorite performance comes from Vito Trigo who was so fucking intense.  He stole every scene he was in and made is so easy to hate him.  He truly needs an award for his performance here.  The story for this one is very real and emotional.  The film dives deep into the underbelly of society and shows that not all families have the cookie cutter life that is depicted on television.  This story shows the real struggles that some children do have to face in this country and draws light on the topic of drug abuse.  This story has a lot going on but almost every angle handles the struggles that most lower class families face on a daily basis.  Finally, the film does have several bloody kills on screen that really surprised me.  I figured the film would be a straight forward thriller that would be very plot driven but Koch was unable to stay away from horror elements and delivered on the gore.  The practical effects are top notch as well which really made the kills even better.  Overall, Pig Pen is one hell of a powerful film that will toy with your emotions.  I highly recommend it.

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