Greenlight is a thriller about an amateur director who gets his opportunity at creating a feature-length film, but there’s a catch. One of the crew must suffer a terrible fate. The film was both created and directed by Graham Denman, his directorial debut in a feature-length film, who’s also an actor in several films, such as Night of the Living Dead 3D: Reanimated, (A personal favorite of mine,) and 2015’s Blood Brothers, which was based on a true story.
There are a lot of great aspects in this film and some aspects that fall short. However, with that being said, a lot is forgivable, seeing as the plot to the movie is pretty straight forward. Jack Archer (Chase Williamson) is a film director, who’s spent most of his time directing short films, and screenwriting. He meets a woman named Sarah (Nicole Shipley) who tells him she knows somebody that’s looking for a director, and soon Jack is sought out to direct a film by a man named Bob Moseby (Chris Browning.) Soon after beginning production, Bob lets Jack in on the secret that he wants one of the actors killed, quickly turning Archer’s psychological thriller into a snuff film built for the masses with the intention of revitalizing Moseby’s career.
Queen of Horror, Caroline Williams makes another great appearance, gracing the screen with her talent, and leading her scenes with professionalism that’s rare even today. Playing the wife of Bob Moseby, she too seems unknowing of the events that are about to take a turn for the worse.
I really enjoyed the simple things about this movie. Nothing outside the box or too convoluted to understand, Greenlight really goes out of its way to show a dark web to Hollywood and that things may not always be as glamorous as we initially think. Some of the acting in the film bothered me, primarily by lead actor Chase Williamson. I felt there were times when, while on screen, he played the scene a bit too hard, while lying back and enjoying himself in others. As he makes appearances in every shot in the movie, however; I’m sure that there was quite a lot of pressure to make each moment as believable as possible.
While the film they were shooting within the movie was meant to be a psychological thriller, the sets themselves felt a little cheap, and even by indie studio standards, the production value within the production value could have been higher.
Scenes that involved Nicole Shipley’s character Sarah were highlights for me. They didn’t do much for plot development, aside from an initial conversation, but her little quips of dialogue were nice additions to the film overall.
I expected much more blood and gore than what was given, but there was a fun little scene thrown in there for some of those that crave some action that involved head smashing, stabbing, and blood.
Certainly don’t head into this film with the expectation of chills, shivers, and spine-tingling suspense, but with an open mind, Greenlight is quite enjoyable. It’s a film I would watch again, but not one that I expect a major theatrical release from. I look forward to adding this film to my blu ray collection and hope to see it in yours. Graham Denman puts his mark in the feature-length film market, and it’s solid.