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Director: Bryan Singer.
Screenplay: Bryan Singer, Christopher McQuarrie, Michael Feit Dougan.
Starring: Ron Marquette, Burt Williams, Leigh Hunt, John Renshaw, Brandon Boyce.

In 1995, director Bryan Singer delivered one of the finest crime films – not too mention one of cinema’s killer twists – in “The Usual Suspects”. Before that, he cut his teeth on this low-budget, independant suspense tale.

Whiley Pritcher (Ron Marquette) is an enigmatic stranger who arrives in the small American town of ‘Brewster’ and starts up a public television show asking the local residents “what’s wrong with Brewster?” Not before long, the residents are all calling in, revealing secrets about their neighbours and causing dark fueds, in this once idyllic town.

Although this film was done in the early 90’s it has a very dated 80’s look to it. Despite this, you can still see the early promise from Bryan Singer. It’s competantly shot and achieves quite an eerie feel to the whole thing. This little tale would have made a great Twilight Zone episode but as a feature length film, it doesn’t quite have enough in the tank for it to hold your interest over a short but somehow protracted 87mins running time. Amature acting is a major letdown also but it’s always interesting to see where a career began and Singer certainly shows flourishes of his crime classic to come.

It builds slowly and assuredly and it’s intriguing premise draws you in, but it ultimately loses it’s way and ends with a wimper.

Mark Walker

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