“Just before Christmas, a painter wakes up to find his a gun in his hand and his girlfriend dead.” — IMDb
There’s not really much more to the story besides that synopsis, honestly. Quinn (played by Noah Segan) wakes up with a gun in his hand, a dead girlfriend, and only vague memories of the night before. He’s trying to piece together what happened while he slowly (actually, pretty quickly) slips into madness and takes some other innocent people with him.
If I can jump right to the point, this movie tried WAY too hard to be edgy and disturbed. From one of the very first scenes with his girlfriend, Thana (played by Olivia Grace Applegate), riding on top of him while pleading with him to pull the trigger on the gun shoved in his mouth… it just didn’t shock me like it seemed it was trying to. It felt very forced, actually.
The frequent flashbacks are the only time we actually see Applegate’s acting — for basically the rest of the movie she’s a corpse — and they prove that she has clearly always had some issues, and she’s always been fascinated by the morbid and unusual. Quinn is some kind of desperate artist, too, considering at one point he goes down to the basement to start up a new collage/painting rather than deal with her body.
The movie takes place in the few days leading up to Christmas, so they really went crazy with adding Christmas songs in, including a man who offers to sing Christmas carols for $1 and Quinn gives him $10, so we get to have that “quirky” aspect tossed in to the mix. Lucky us. It just felt like they were trying to drive home the eccentricity of the whole thing, the juxtaposition of such a dark and disturbing scenario right around such a happy time of year, but the songs just annoyed the crap out of me. Like, maybe have one in the mix — or just keep the Christmas caroler — but having a Christmas song playing every other scene is a bit much.
Ultimately though, ya know what the kicker was? Noah Segan is honestly just a terrible actor. I didn’t feel a damn thing watching him (except boredom). It was painful at times. His extended interaction with the landlord (played by Don Most) was cringe-worthy. I had first seen Segan in Starry Eyes, where he was much less of a central character, but seeing him attempt to carry an entire movie was NOT a fun time. He just doesn’t seem to know how to emote. Every bit of his speech is just monotone, and seemingly not in an intentional way. Just… yikes. No. I would have much rather seen either Applegate or Richardson (who plays Quinn’s co-worker) play the lead role.
I think it was an interesting attempt at some psychological horror, and storylines like this can occasionally be pulled off well since they are really tapping into some deep human emotions (fear, regret, desperation), but this was a huge flop for me.