Coming to theatres from director Simon Brand and Amplify comes the twists and turns when you are in DEFAULT.
This film tells the story of a news crew who are working off the coast of Seychelles. Boarding a plane the is taken over by Somali pirates. The leader Atlas (David Olewoyo) tells the crew that he is interested in one man, Frank Salzman (Greg Callahan).
The news crew with Juliana (Katherine Moennig), Marcela (Jeanine Mason) and Kane (Stephen Lord) and Finley (James C. Victor) slowly try to put the pieces together with stewardess Madifa (Perez Owino). There captives are jumpy and angry.
FINAL WORD: Olewoyo as Atlas steals the film absolutely. There is an intensity he brings that, dare I say, is smooth and unpredictable at the same time. Seeing a goal for those he involves in this plot is not the same as what his cohorts want. The interaction between Atlas and Salzman are staggering and so well done. Olewoyo is continually seen in roles that are extreme as in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND to thought provoking as in THE BUTLER to comedy voicing the Walking Dead Lobster in the television series Robot Chicken.
Callahan as Salzman has certainly put himself to the test with this role. The moments of calm followed by terror will seriously make anyone’s heart pound. Having to make decisions under this situation would be ones that would haunt me. The character of Salzman definitely will bring about a conversation as the film continues on its unexpected paces.
Victor as Finely is the dare devil who takes chances trying to find a way to rid themselves of the kidnappers. He is arrogant and headstrong putting his fears in check. This character caused me the most worry because he was motivated more by anger than fear to my way of thinking.
Moennig, Mason and Lord are put through their paces setting up cameras and looking through every piece of equipment to stay one step ahead of the kidnappers. Owino as Madifa has the task of keeping the language barrier between them calm.
Director Brand says of the film, “The movie was basically born from my anxiousness to do a film. I thought that I could put together a found footage film…but with a twist. I wanted real terror and fear, as raw as possible, fear spawning from humans inflicting pain onto other humans, but without the crutch of the paranormal stuff.” He also believes that the film has moral ambiguity to both leads in the film.
Other cast includes: Benjamin Ochieng as Edward, Mohamed Hakkeemshady as Blue Eyes, and Connor Fox as Pete Bowers.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DEFAULT four tubs of popcorn out of five. There are so many twists and turns to this story that I’m stunned it fits all in the film. However, I believe also that that is the point. With such high tension in a small space with angry and afraid individuals (sometimes on both sides equally), it is inevitable that mistakes are made.
Filmed with hand held’s, set up cameras and all done inside the plane is so well done with the $750,000 budget. Watching it all unfold using the ‘found footage’ genre, it didn’t feel like that at all. Instead it was quite easy to feel the fears and shock the same as the passengers being held against their will.
There are moments where I found myself talking out loud answer Atlas when he asked questions. I don’t recommend this for the audience but don’t be surprised if one or two things slip out under your breath. The film is an 88 minute horror of another kind as the directors statement rings true in that it’s what human beings do to other human beings that becomes the question.
In the end – it is fight or flight.