Immortal features a star-studded cast headlined by Tony Todd (Candyman), Dylan Baker (Trick ‘r Treat) and Robin Bartlett (Shutter Island). There’s also Samm Levine (Inglourious Basterds), Vanessa Lengies (Waiting…), and Agnes Bruckner (The Woods) among many more. The movie is a stunning collection of horror stories each as impactive as the last.
A chilling horror/thriller anthology film told in four chapters, Immortal also boasts career-best performances from a cast that includes Award-winning actor Mario Van Peebles (“Posse”, “New Jack City”), Lindsay Mushett (“Blue Bloods”), and Jason Stuart (The Infiltrators) with a talented ensemble of filmmakers consisting of Tom Colley, Jon Dabach, Danny Isaacs and Rob Margolies weaving the exhilarating crosspatch of thrills together.
Thrown into the face of death only to emerge unharmed, the characters of Immortal are left staring at eternity in the face with uncertainty and fear like they’ve never imagined. The film follows Chelsea, a high school track star who comes clean about sexual misconduct with her coach only to find out her confession might be too late, Gary and Vanessa, a young, expecting married couple who scheme a morbid solution to their financial issues, Ted, a man filled with sorrow who agrees to euthanize his cancer-ridden wife Mary, and Warren, a young man with little direction in life who is forced to discover his new gifts after a tragic accident.
Chelsea – This first segment is a solid opener with two great performances from Lindsay Mushett and Dylan Baker. Mr Shagis (Baker) witnesses an awkward exchange between his student, Chelsea (Mushett), and the school coach (Michael Shenefelt). After class, Chelsea confides in her teacher who encourages her to report sexual misconduct. However, the story takes a drastic turn when Chelsea is abducted. Waking up in the wilderness, she now has new dilemma – how to escape her captor alive.
Baker’s impressive performance is what makes this segment stand out. With his warm, calm demeanour and the rapport he has with his students, he becomes instantly likeable and convincing as a teacher. There’s also some great effects, outstanding cinematography and a build up of suspense at the conclusion of the story.
Gary and Vanessa – By now, the theme has been well and truly established. With this second instalment we’re wondering how immortality is going to play a part in this gripping tale. Gary (Brett Edwards) and Vanessa (Bruckner) are a young, married couple expecting their first baby. However, suffering from severe financial difficulty they hatch a morbid plan to try and rectify this issue. With a few hiccups along the way, the scheme is eventually successful. However, in a surprise turn of events, not all was as it seemed from the outset. Greed, betrayal and a good dose of karma play a significant part in the conclusion of this great segment.
This story definitely had the biggest twist, with an ending that could be open to interpretation. Mario Van Peebles makes a brief appearance as Carl, who inadvertently thwarts the couple’s scheme. Well, initially at least. Another good example of brilliant effects, makeup and storyline with a somewhat satisfying ending (depending on your interpretation).
We’re halfway there…
Ted and Mary – This segment was thoroughly heartbreaking. The first two stories gave us an entertaining view of death, immortality and satisfying endings. Not this one. This story brings us crashing back to the realities of death, sorrow and loneliness. Ted (Todd) and his cancer-ridden wife Mary (Bartlett) have agreed to be interviewed before Mary’s passing. They each give emotional accounts of their lives together. Ted informs interviewer, Alex (Lengies), that he will be euthanising Mary later that evening. But, given the theme of the anthology, not everything goes to plan.
Tony Todd’s performance in this story is absolutely outstanding. The emotion he manages to evoke and the genuine sorrow in his eyes proves once again he is an actor of the highest calibre. Both he, and Robin Bartlett bring an authenticity to their roles which is unparalleled in comparison to the others. The heartbreaking story plays out like a modern day Shakespearean tragedy with credit due to the Writer/Director.
Warren – The final story in this anthology follows Warren (Levine). It’s his birthday, and Warren seemingly has nothing to do. Reminiscing with his mother on the phone, he steps into the road where he’s hit by a car. His twisted corpse lies in the road with the driver fleeing the scene. However, to Warren’s surprise (but not so much to ours given we know the theme by now…) he’s alive! He heads home with the licence plate of the vehicle under his arm (it fell off during the collision). Does he go about his immortal life happily? Or does he seek revenge? You’ll have to watch to find out.
Levine’s acting skills shine throughout this one. Starting out despondent and apathetic, his character becomes more driven as he comes to terms with being immortal. With great cinematography, nice effects and a satisfying ending, this is another great segment. Admittedly, it would’ve been nice to have had a more hard-hitting finale. But, maybe I’m just being picky now.
To conclude, Immortal has got to be one of the best anthologies I’ve seen this year. The acting was brilliant throughout and the twists and turns kept us guessing along the way. I would happily sit through another four of these easily.
Check out the trailer here
Immortal is available for sale or rental on demand now from Stonecutter Distribution.
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