I had the privilege of seeing Stevan Mena's latest feature "Bereavement" in theaters this weekend. This film has a feel that is uncomfortably REAL with dark, complex themes of loss and betrayal.
The characters are all well scripted, dimensional and the casting superb. It is awesome to see Michael Biehn from "Aliens" and John Savage from "The Deer Hunter" - of course both seasoned and both on their marks! There is sincerely not a weak performance in the film, but without a doubt the performance that grabs and will not let go is delivered by Brett Rickaby from "The Crazies," playing the disturbed and psychotic Graham Sutter. His performance is raw, very real, and VERY disturbing. Alexandra Daddario completely shines in this film, never overacting, always hitting the mark dead on! And Spencer List, WOW - not a word uttered but DEAD ON! Again a credit to Stevan Mena, he wrote a great script and gave these actors a foundation on which to perform at the top of their craft!
The set design, effects, and cinematography are fantastic. The cinematography is particularly superb with scenes that are so grand in scope that it is breathtaking and angles that pull you into the scene. Though the storyline is sinister and dark, the film is filled with beauty - even the dark, cluttered, hellish mazes of the Sutter plant are beautifully designed and filmed with just the right balance of wicked shadowing and lighting.
The score is wonderfully effective - it never oversteps the boundary of the film and is there just when you need it building suspense, driving tension, propelling action, and embodying emotion for this complex film.
All who saw "Malevolence" and thought maybe, just maybe, Stevan Mena is someone to really watch - will know once they see "Bereavement" that they were RIGHT! This writer, director, editor, producer, composer is on a roll and I CANNOT wait to see what he does next! Word of advice when watching "Bereavement" stay through till the end of the credits - you will see why!