Among Them Review – Indie Film Surprises with Heightened Suspense and Intrigue

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Among Them, from Cinema Epoch, presents an eerie, unnerving, dark thriller filled with intense scenes as two bank robbers, hiding in a deserted beach town become hostage to a mind game that leaves them unable to recognize reality.

Directed and co-written by Kevin James Barry, Among Them stars Jonathan Thomson, Dan Liebman, Evalena Marie, who also co-wrote the screenplay, Michael Reed, Bobby Kenney, Nick Apostolides, Bernie Hutchens, and John Mosetich.

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The film begins with the sounds of a robbery, with the gunmen barking orders, sounds of screams, yelling as they enforce their intention is not to kill them, no heroes today, everyone wants to make it home. Then shots.

The time between the black screen, is a little longer than expected, and when live action appears, we see, a man preparing for the day, we do not know who he is until later. The film jumps to the getaway, obviously these two, Harry, played by Jonathan Thomson and Mick, played by Dan Liebman, are the robbers.

There is just enough dialogue as the men are driving to understand the plan, they are hired hands, they get a cut and an escape with new identities, documents, and tickets. The plan is to wait at a deserted motel, in a coastal beach town, until their contact arrives.

As they check in, Harry handles the business with the motel clerk, played by Michael Reed. One can see from his mannerism, he has secrets and possibly another life that hides behind the "staff only" door.

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Once the two check in, suddenly everything begins to swerve. Taking stock and preparing for the next moves the two return to the car to retrieve the papers which have always been in the glove compartment. Unfortunately, no papers. Popping the trunk, they figure maybe their contact, Greyhurst, played by Bobby Kenney, dropped them there instead, what they see causes them to freak.

Someone is playing a mind game, as they see a female, barely dressed, hogtied, and gagged. Moving her into the room, the two men, who are running from the police, trying to find out why their employer has failed to make the drop, and retrieve his money, and now have a unknown woman, played by Evalena Marie, whom they have no choice but to hold hostage. Her escape means their capture.

Slowly, whomever or whatever is chasing them, has the power to manipulate reality. A demonic hallucination, which is not seen only experienced by the three, individually, has warped their mental state. As they leave the room, even with the hostage handcuffed, to look for Greyhurst, their possessions daily disappear.

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The combination of theft and mental fatigue, the inability to stop the invasion of evil, which distorts the reality causes them all to become victims of someone or something's evil plan.

What follows is a race against time, with more than the clock ticking, as soon the mental state of all three begin to deteriorate and the line between reality and illusion becomes indistinguishable.

Among Them, for a low budget film, is surprisingly good. It holds the attention, even in the beginning when the black screen opening, which is unusual, lasts just a little longer than expected, so much so that I thought the link was not working.

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The film, billed as Tarantino meets Bad Times at the El Royale, has heightened suspense, with haunted house style pop ups, and creates almost a house of mirrors style illusion, so much so that even in the end, while there is some conclusion, the ending returns to the beginning.

Among Them, shocks with expectation, intrigue, and anxiety, and is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi TV.

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