Point Defiance Review – Solid Psychological Thriller Haunts to the End

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Point Defiance, from Lexicon Entertainment and Room in the Sky Films, presents a psychological thriller that weaves the deep hidden secrets into dark mind games as two brothers try separately to hide from their past.

Directed and co-written by Justin Foia, Point Defiance stars Derek Phillips, Josh Crotty, Lauren Elaine, Sarah Butler, and Steven Swadling and was co-written by Timothy Foia.

The film begins in the home of an online stock trading, Peter Allen, played by Derek Phillips, obviously a man who has done quite well for himself with a home overlooking Commencement Bay in Tacoma, Washington. Allen, an online stock broker, is a creature of habit, same routine day in, day out.

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On this day, the local news is playing in the background and a story about a girl missing for more than a year. Without thinking he turns off the TV and begins to work again.

Waking to noises in the house, he makes his way to the kitchen, armed with a bat for protection, he stumbles onto his brother, Alex, played by Josh Cotty, who is home from active duty in Afghanistan and just wants to hang out for a few days.

The two, who are polar opposites, begin to catch up and we find out that Peter has given up drinking, has an active house arrest ankle bracelet monitoring his every move, and uses a portable breathalyzer to provide an analysis as required.

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Alex is party ready at the drop of a hat. Active duty has left his with PTSD and booze is the painkiller. Soon he has a crate of liquor delivered and begins a binge. Next on his agenda is sex, after finding an online escort service on his brother’s computer, he orders service for two with a party favor treat to begin the evening.

Crystal, played by Lauren Elaine, arrives and the evening begins with Peter, shell shocked and shy, as he watches his older brother, a smooth operator take control. The morning arrives and another report on the television news of the missing girl. In over a year the trail and been cold. The news reports her car had been found.

After a brief confrontation with his brother about the night before, the doorbell rings and two Detectives Barnes, played by Sarah Butler, and Fripp, played by Steven Swadling, are at the front door. They hand him a flyer on the missing girl, as they are just out canvassing, and are wondering if he saw anything. They also note his ankle monitor which they know limits his ability to leave the boundary of the property.

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As his brother is still living the wildlife, the temptation for the booze becomes almost blinding until he dumps out the remainder of Alex’s stash and is taking out the bottles when the detectives return. He ends the questions by explaining he is home alone, no one is here, and he hasn’t left the property, and this feels a bit like harassment and please leave the property.

Suddenly the two brothers, each understand the other is hiding a secret. As the film progresses, the lines blur between reality as each of the brothers are haunted by their childhood abuse, an alcoholic father who committed suicide and the fallout from their personal injury.

The final break occurs when Peter’s escape property in Mexico, which he sent the owner a large down payment, falls through and he finds out his entire life savings was diverted to an irrevocable trust.

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The taut suspenseful drama captures the attention and holds on, winding through the dark recesses of repressed memories, leaving the viewer to determine what is reality and what is the manifestation of deeply disturbed mind.

The casting is perfect, creating an ensemble that also delivers strong, convincing, authentic performances. Point Defiance is a riveting must see psychological thriller, holding the viewing as the story moves closer to an unexpected and shocking truth that resonates long after the film is over.

Point Defiance will be released on DVD May 19, 2020. See it.

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