Dir: Patrick Brice (2014)
Jay and Mark Duplass, who cut their teeth in a series of pretty wonderful low budget independent features, have really hit their stride of late. The Puffy Chair, Cyrus, Jeff Who Lives at Home all struck a powerful note between light comedy and sheer darkness. Their original HBO series Togetherness (which is incredible) also veers between the light and the dark like a wolf in the woods but this little gem of a found footage horror film could be the heaviest piece of work either brother has touched when a young videographer answers a craigslist add for a simple days work.
The young camera happy chap is Aaron (director Patrick Brice) and his $1000 a day “employer” (the Creep of the piece) is the eager and quietly disturbing Josef (a wired Mark Duplass) who wants Aaron to document a day in his life for his unborn son; A son he will never see due to the killer tumor inside his weird little brain. Aaron, heartfelt and sweet, accepts and as the day continues Josef (much like the Duplass style of comedy) unhinges, careening into some incredibly uncomfortable places, reconnects as a kind of mismatched buddy movie and then heads full tilt into bunny boiler territory in a staggering final act.
Brice and Duplass work incredibly well together; The single camera premise perfectly creating a disconnect with the pair on a long walk through the woods, over pancakes at a local diner and into a late night whiskey drinking session when Duplass delivers one of the film’s most uncomfortable off camera confessions. Smartly using, scares, laughs and the traditional stalker film, Brice has created something pretty wonderful here, despite a clichéd final, final shot; This is a found footage film which has more character than the genre ever promised, more uncomfortable laughs than a few episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and a lingering creeping dirty feeling which you can never quite wash off.