November 24, 2012

Filthy Review - 'The Weather Outside'

The Weather Outside (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, so the song would have us believe. In the case of The Weather Outside, it is more of a case of what is going on in the lead character’s head that is frightful. This is a film that requires concentration and for the viewer to pay attention whilst its story slowly unfolds, and then it will reward the viewer with a rich tale of which will play in the mind for days to follow.

Written and Directed by Jason Freeman; who is one half of the production team of The Freeman Brothers, the other brother being Todd E. Freeman who directed the excellent Cell Count, The Weather Outside follows a day in the life of Max, over the Festive season. However, Max’s life is not what it once was, or what he thought it was. His wife has left him, taking his children with her, leaving him to wallow in a world he is unaccustomed to. Obviously Max wants his family back, but things are not quite what they seem.

When he goes to his house there are complete strangers in, what he thinks is, his bed. His wife, when he does contact her, has no idea who he is, causing Max to question everything.

You might think that this sounds similar to the Liam Neeson movie, Unknown, but in actual fact it has far more in common with Shrek Forever After. Yep, I brought a green Ogre into the review, but only for comparison sake. The Weather Outside actually plays out as a warped variant on the classic film noir thrillers of yesteryear, where clues are revealed (or are they), as slowly, piece by piece, the bigger picture in revealed.

This is the sort of film where if I was to reveal too much would totally negate the point of seeing the film, and I don’t want to do that at all.  Suffice to say that this is a film that is meticulously crafted, with everything, and every event, having a definite reason for being in the film. Nothing is left to chance, there is no filler thrown in to pad out the running time in The Weather Outside.

Todd E. Freeman impressed me no end with his body horror variant, Cell Count, and judging from this film it would appear that there are two highly promising directors in the family. The Weather Outside is beautifully shot, with real characters occupying the story, and a score that is just wonderful. This is not a fast paced film, with flashy effects or rapid-fire editing, instead it is a film where the plot is the most important thing going on. Jason Freeman is not trying to distract you away from what is going on, instead he insists you invest yourself into what is going on. Due to this the film will not necessarily appeal to those raised on a diet of soulless production-line flicks.

My hope is that The Weather Outside will find the audience is deserves, when it finally gets a proper release, and I for one am looking forward to watching it again. Having already watched it, I will be intrigued to watch it along with a commentary track, as I am positively sure that there are bits I will have missed whilst viewing it. It’s happened before, and it will no doubt happen again, as it is not always possible to digest everything that happens in one viewing.

If you get the chance to see The Weather Outside, I suggest you do. To categorize it, for easy consumption, is no easy task, although I would say that a mind-bending modern day noir might get near to where it is. At the end of the day it is an incredibly well-crafted movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Weather Outside is currently playing the Festivals and you can find out more about the film on its Facebook page.

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