2014 Canadian Film Fest: The Privileged (Leah Walker) & My Old Man (Ryan M. Andrews)

The second screening this evening, starting at 9:15pm at the Royal Theatre is a pair of darker tales, the feature film, The Privileged is a dark thriller that sees a young couple put to the ultimate test, and Ryan M. Andrews’ macabre short, My Old Man, precedes it.

My Old Man sees Cleo (Adrian Cowan) hitting rock bottom in every aspect of her life. Returning to a familiar, but incredibly dark place, she examines her choices and life while engaged in a troubling conversation with an old, pale-looking man (Robert Nolan).

As he rails against the warnings and the terrors of the world, Cleo begins to come to an inescapable conclusion about the journey of her own life.

Andrews, a previous guest on our show, keeps the camera moving through the film, and puts his characters in a very dark place emotionally, and while we may not agree with the final decision, even if she seems pushed into it, we can understand it. But we’re left wondering how haunted this woman is, and what is her connection to the Old Man, and who he actually is. He’s different from the man in the pictures we’re shown… Hmmm.

THE_PRIVILEGED_POSTER_smaDirected by Leah Walker, The Privileged, the late screening’s feature, is a taut, psychological thriller wherein much of its emotional power lies just below the surface. Richard Hunter (Joshua Close) has a promising career going for him at a prestigious law firm, but one major mistake has all but cost him everything he’s worked for thus far. In a desperate bid to save his job, Richard and his wife, Tara (Lina Roessler of Lost Girl fame) decide to spend the weekend at the cottage of Preston Westwood (True Blood’s Sam Trammell), a senior partner in the law firm where Richard works. Preston and his beautiful wife, Julia (24’s Laura Harris), use their lavish lifestyle to seduce the wide-eyed young couple into the kind of weekend dreams are made of. This particular weekend, however, is about to turn into a nightmare for all involved, as secrets hidden just below the surface threaten to explode, and each character is forced to decide what’s most important to them, even as their very lives are put at risk.

Shot in the area of Sudbury, Ontario, the scenery in this film is gorgeous to look at, while also proving the perfect isolating backdrop for the events which are about to unfold. There is a palpable tension throughout every scene, even though the viewer is not always sure why it can be sensed. Genre fans will be delighted to see the bevy of familiar faces, from the 4 leads through to David Richmond-Peck as one of the local family members who are less than happy with how the Westwoods live their lives. Eventually, tensions rise, and everyone has to make a choice that will forever affect the rest of their lives.

Tickets are still available at the door of the Royal Theatre, get in there! And then let us know what you think.


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