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Nefarious (2019)

Directed by Richard Rowntree, Nefarious tells the story of four impoverished young people who attempt to steal from a mentally handicapped man named Clive (Gregory A. Smith) and his brother. Things go awry and they end up in over their heads when they are confronted by Clive’s brother who is far more sinister than he appears.

I really enjoyed this film, and while there are a few criticisms I must level at the film they are few, and the positives far outweigh the negatives. For starters, the performances. While many of the stars of this film aren’t spectacular, they are all competent and there are a couple that stand out. For one, the character of Daz (Buck Braithwaite) is played completely convincingly. He comes across as the perfect archetypical chav scumbag and even the way that he swears with such zest adds to the performance.

The other performance that stood out was Clive. I am unsure of whether the actor that played Clive, Gregory A. Smith, is actually handicapped or not, but if he isn’t his performance is utterly convincing. The idiosyncrasies and speech is accurate to a T, and the interplay with him and the other characters really makes you feel empathy for him.

The rest of the cast are admittedly fairly average with their performances, but that may also be a product of their characters being less distinctive than the first two. The plot is fairly cut and paste, with the popular trope of “criminals get more than they bargained for” being in full swing with this movie.

The cinematography is quite good, and the sound design and audio is superb. These really help to build the tension in scenes where tension is necessary and I particularly enjoyed the song that plays throughout the credits. I do feel that the concept could have been fleshed out moreso, and the film seemed to go at a steady pace up until a certain point after which everything happened relatively fast. I think if less time was given on the exposition then more time could be dedicated to the more integral scenes exploring the house robbery and the concepts therein.

VERDICT: Overall, I would give the film a 7.5/10 for being a semi-original, interesting enough film with a decent to solid cast and excellent technical aspects.


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