Coming to DVD and screening at the GI Film Festival San Diego from director Brian Hanson and Lionsgate is a story of twists and bends and a trail of THE BLACK STRING.
Jonathan (Frankie Muniz) is a lonely young man who works in a convenience store. He is avoiding his parents and often takes advice from friend Eric (Blake Webb) on how to get out into the world. One night at home he sees a commercial for companionship and is drawn to call. The next night he has a blind date with Dena (Chelsea Edmundson) who rushes Jonathan into spending the night.
The next morning Dena is gone but leaves behind a mysterious rash and Jonathan is instantly freaked out. If that isn’t enough, he starts experiencing strange disturbances that turn into actions he knows are caused by whatever is eating at him. Looking for answers, Eric and his parents decide he is detached from reality and so the fight begins to prove what he knows is true with the forces that are pushing everyone away.
Turning to a woman named Melinda (Mary K. DeVault) for help, she tries to guide him before turning back is no longer an option. Explaining that she knows exactly what he is going through, the process is painful, terrorizing and one that begs the question of who is responsible and how can they be stopped!
Muniz as Jonathan is a young man who clearly is not the popular guy in town. Rather shy he is often mistook for someone who can be pushed around and easily manipulated. He lets things go, that is until pushed to his limits trying to survive something he doesn’t understand. Muniz makes that performance terrifyingly believable and that’s important because this story is deliberate in the telling leaving each encounter even creepier than the last.
Webb as Eric is the outgoing, a little nutty and colorful friend to Jonathan, that is until he sees something happening to his friend that he can’t handle. DeVault as Melinda tries to help Jonathan as much as she can without getting herself back into a place that obviously terrifies her.
Shout out to Alexander Ward as The Entity because anything that does what his, well, entity does is just a tad creepier than I need. It is a creature that I think we’ve all dreamt about in our scary dreams and here it is in the flesh so to speak.
Other cast include Richard Handley as Dr. Ronaldi, Colby French as Mr. Marsh, Laura Richardson as Mrs. March, Ravi Patel as Dr. May, Jackie Moore as Lollypop, Jenny Strubin as Winter Gary Sievers as Homeless Mike, and Cullen Douglas as the Man in Black.
Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.
The DVD and Digital Special Features include Audio Commentary with Director and Cowriter Brian Hanson and Producer Charles Bunce, String Theory: The Making of THE BLACK STRING Featurette, Deleted Scenes and Alternate Takes.
THE BLACK STRING was the Official Selection at the Austin Film Festival in 2018 and will be a feature film presented at the GI Film Festival in San Diego in late September. If you want to enjoy a fright on the big screen visit www.gifilmfestivalsd.org to purchase tickets and view the scheduled time.
Muniz gives a performance that adds to the films deeply disturbing story. Trying to make his way in the world with parents who don’t see his potential, it doesn’t help when he takes a step forward to try and date. Although I personally wouldn’t call a hotline for that, the character of Jonathan would and it’s believable.
The creepiness of the film is watching Muniz character try and discover what is true and what isn’t because, at times, I wasn’t sure myself. When he is told that the answers are right in front of him, I went on the hunt for clues right along with the character. That’s always a fun way to keep the scary in check.
Of playing the role, Muniz says, “It’s amazing when you can look at a project you’ve done and say ‘man, we worked hard’. I am thrilled with it and I hope people enjoy it to.”
In the end – paranoia cuts deep!