Writer/Director Lou Simon’s (All Girls Weekend 2016, Agoraphobia 2015) 73 Minutes was filmed entirely during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. What did Simon achieve under such restrictive circumstances?
Read on for our review!
73 Minutes (2021) Synopsis
“After leaving an adulterous tryst, a lawyer gets a call on her way home threatening her daughter’s life if she doesn’t deliver a file to the caller. Now, she has seventy-three minutes to figure out what the Caller wants with the file, and how she can use that to save her family’s life.”
The film stars Aniela McGuinness, Christopher Millan, and Sheril Rodgers.
73 Minutes shows what a little ingenuity and a creative approach to severe interpersonal restrictions can achieve. It was filmed during the pandemic with virtually no contact between cast and crew. The film illustrates a brilliant workaround of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Single mother Monica (Aniela McGuinness; Devotion 2022) is a lawyer with an ambulance-chasing firm with some problems. Her paramour/colleague Keith (Christopher Millan; The Flowers 2020) is very married with children, and her overbearing mother (Sheril Rodgers; The Wraith Within 2023) is fed up with her antics. However, a new, more sinister, problem develops when Monica receives a call from a mysterious caller.
I will try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible because I think this is a film that really deserves to be seen. Suffice it to say, Monica is soon plunged into a game of life and death involving: her daughter Taylor (Izzy Herbert; Richard Jewell 2019), the mysterious Caller (Mike Stanley; Ozark), her lover Keith (along with his spouse), a not-so-routine accident case, a software magnate’s missing wife, and a little over an hour of time.
Incorporating shades of Scream and a little bit of Speed (perhaps), Simon expertly melds domestic drama, children in peril, mystery, and good old-fashioned Hitchcockian suspense into a winning combination. Shot mainly in a car and in snippets of video calls, 73 Minutes uses communication technology to its utmost, without the viewer having to suspend that much disbelief.
And, as a bonus, it avoids the usual pratfalls of terrible sound quality (usually from a filmmaker trying a little too hard to make phone calls “authentic”) traditionally associated with using cell phones as plot devices. Throw in some extremely effective writing, and a great ensemble performance from an outstanding cast (who had to work outside of the normal parameters of film production) and 73 Minutes stands out among most indie film fare as a taut, tense, quickly-paced, thriller that definitely ratchets up the suspense in the last act.
And I hate “supposably.”
73 Minutes will be released on Blu-Ray in April 2023 as part of the HorrorPack subscription.