Huff (2012): Rough Cut (Movie Review)

If you haven’t heard the buzz from when Huff was filming last year, get ready because now that the first rough cut has been made you are about to hear a lot more about this nursery rhyme favorite turned twisted thriller.  I was recently asked by Director Paul Morrell to stop by the editing bay of his studio and watch a rough cut of the film.  Having written a script review I knew what the story line was going to look like.  I also was able to see the live action on set for a few days during filming so I had an inkling of what to expect.  Still when I sat down in front of the screen to watch it unfold before my eyes, I lit up with marvel.

The look of the film has a strong color palette that is vibrant enough to illuminate the characters but dusty enough to seem uncomfortable with what you are about to see play out.  The opening scene is where Charlie O’Connell who plays the lead villain, Huff, really shines.  His grimacing smile and sarcastic attitude gives this bachelor playboy the edge that makes you forget he ever gave a rose to a beauty.  Through out the picture you start to see how sick Huff really is and it is all due to the fact that O’Connell breathed life into this beastly anti-hero.  His voice is deafening and has to be my favorite surprise about Huff.  It’s the creepy voice that you never want to hear in the dark of the night.  Writer Cort Howell gives Huff biblical references making this role utterly hard to feel any compassion for.  Charlie throughout proves that his college bad boy roles are over.  His wicked role playing makes you think twice when you see his crooked smile spread across his face.

The three little pigs or step-daughters I should say played by Marie Bollinger, Jenna Stone, and Elly Stefanko have a great camaraderie.  Each has their poignant traits that really do mirror the essence of each pig in the original story.  There is the innocent one, Shay (Stefanko). The feisty one with attitude, Styx (Stone).  Then the smart, strong willed one, Brixi (Bollinger).  Each girl had their moment of captivation where you really pull for them in hopes for their safety.  Stefanko is new to the film business but it didn’t show in the scenes.  She held her own like a pro.  Stone was a favorite of mine since she plays this real smart ass of a step-daughter.  Her dialogue and the roll of the eyes either make you love her or hate her as she adds some spice to the mix.  Then there is Bollinger who carries the film as the confident and positive role model who tries to save everyone she can. Bollinger does the leading lady role well and her range of emotion is spot on to what you as the audience should be feeling.

Another chilling performance in Huff is done by actress Elina Madison who plays Huff’s wife, Lorelai.  She brought me to tears in one scene with her honesty and pain.  Just the conviction in her eyes was strong enough to pull the emotion out of me.  She layered Lorelai well and I was impressed with how she captivated me with just her first few lines.

Competing for the love of Huff is his mistress Laci, played by actress Natasha Alam.  This tall beauty was able to ooze that sex pot appeal through a provocative scene with her and Huff.  She is the cheesecake of the picture but don’t discount this side dish for she shows monumental strength against the monster that she sleeps with at night.  Alam gives us an unmistakable dynamic woman that will give anything for her loved ones.

There are many great performances done in this film and some surprise actors scattered through out the narrative.  As the drug lord Scottie is being introduced to Huff you see that he’s played by Rance Howard.  His epic voice is creamy to the ears and works well for who he is portraying. Joining him in this film is his son Clint Howard who does a nail biting scene that keeps the audience on their toes.  Another wild card in the film is the super sexy Mayra Leal but this isn’t the usual role for Leal.  She plays a drugged out neighbor, Gina, that can fly off her rocker at the drop of a needle.  Adding some humor to the piece is Styx’s boyfriend Woody played by Randy Blekitas.  He is given clever one liners to lighten the mood while still being serious enough for the intensity in his scenes.

This film has all the ingredients it needs to keep you in your seat full of anticipation.  A sickening twist to a childhood favorite, kill scenes that have you cringing, and sounds that keep your ear interested.  The turn that the story lines take will have you in bewilderment wanting more.  Only half the score was done when I viewed it and I was sold.  I can only imagine what this film is going to look like once it has been sharpened and tuned.  I twitched many times from surprises, teared up a little bit, and shied away at the moral battles the characters had to act out.  If you want suspense by a potpourri of a fascinating cast then you won’t want to miss this film which is due out in the next few months.  If I am this thrilled to see it when it is only half edited I can only imagine the spark that it is going to have once it is ready for release.  Get ready for the disturbing tale that will have you reevaluate everything you thought you knew about this ancient fable.


2 Responses to “Huff (2012): Rough Cut (Movie Review)”

  1. Gordon Vasquez

    READY SET GO — great work Lauren

  2. Brian White

    Primo review Lauren!
    I’m looking forward to checking this one out with MUCH ANTICIPATION!