a film by Rob Moretti.
2013 | 94 mins | US.
principal players: Sean Paul Lockhart / Caleb, Rob Moretti / Jeremy, Blanche Baker / Dr Carter Moore, Suzanne Didonna / Caleb's Mother, Rebekah Aramini / Leah, Max Rhyser / Man in Café and Philip Joseph McElroy as Young Caleb.
Adapted Synopsis: "After a chance encounter over the Internet, Caleb meets and falls head over heels for Jeremy, only for the line between love and lies to blur soon after. Struggling to keep his family secrets hidden, Caleb gradually succumbs to the dark side of his nature when faced with the reality of his love for a man who has himself been more than economical, with the truth."
From writer, director and co-star Rob Moretti of Crutch fame comes this menacing, psychological thriller. Working alongside Sean Paul Lockhart, formerly Brent Corrigan, the two create some vibrant scenes together, with SPL and whilst hardly RSC, nevertheless miles ahead of the crop of ex porn stars, now getting their acting credentials out for the boys. True, Lockhart is and not surprisingly often seen stripped down to his Andrew Christian designer briefs, if not out of them altogether, yet the sex is sensuous, rather than explicit; the emphasis being on the narrative. Told by way of a series of flashbacks, here we are witness to Caleb's conversations with his clinical psychologist, cue Emmy Award Winner Blanche Baker in the role and which relate to his relationships with his boyfriend Jeremy and his estranged mother.
The truth will out, in Truth.
Yet it's the latter relationship that many will find more disturbing, than the film's bloodstained, climactic scenes. Played uncomfortably real, here Suzanne Didonna as Caleb's mentally unstable mother delivers a homophobic monologue that whilst integral to the plot, is nonetheless savage in its intolerance. Only this is Moretti setting out his narrative stall, here examining the reasons behind Caleb's own unbalanced state of mind, one that a stash of prescription medication cannot cure, as the story comes to reveal a young man who deprived of parental love, had finally allowed himself to be touched by the hand of compassion, only to find his trust misplaced.
In short, this is a film with a message, that of how deep-rooted psychological traumas affect so many in our society. That Caleb has suffered years of offensive and frankly unsettling abuse, is not in doubt, with his mother shown blaming her son's homosexuality as the cause of her mental breakdown. That the seeds of Caleb's inner torment have been sown, mental wounds that can over time result in malevolent ends, is brutally captured in the closing act, scenes that strikingly juxtapose with the prior cinematic medley of tender moments, between the two men. But then and such is the nature of the opening scene, that you were already aware that all was not going to turn out well. Yet this is equally a feature that revolves around the theme of sexual shame; that of a case of to thy own self, not being true. And whilst the plot does get a bit weighed down at times, as a psychological thriller this is a tense, alarming and somewhat controversial exploration of when love turns cold.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the full monty.
Overall - file under ... 3 stars.