Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Self Storage”
By: Brian Cotnoir
Praise Odin, there is hope for low budget Horror Film making! That hope is coming courtesy of an up and coming film studio from East Greenwich, Rhode Island called Woodhaven Production Company. I find this very exciting because I work in Rhode Island, and I lived in city of Woonsocket, RI for the first three years of my life, so I think it’s great to see a film company emerging from a State that I have many close ties too. Since 2011, Woodhaven Production Company, led by CEO/ producer Chad A. Verdi has produced four feature length films; “Inkubus” (starring Robert Englund), “Loosies, “Infected” (which I reviewed earlier this year), and the film that I am reviewing today “Self Storage”.
“Self Storage” was written, directed, and stars Tom DeNucci. Along with the acting talents of Eric Roberts and Horror movie legend Michael Berryman, these three are just a small part of well thought out, low-budget Horror film. It is the story of a young adult named Jake (DeNucci) who works—and lives—at a self storage lot. Jake spends most of his time at work goofing off, smoking pot, and doing other things he shouldn’t do at work. The storage unit is owned by a man named Walter (Roberts), who was a decorated War Veteran. Unbeknownst to Jake, Walter is using his storage unit as a major cover up for something much more devious. Walter begins to tell his friend and head of security Trevor (Berryman) that they may be in danger of being found out, and he is planning to move them and their secret operation to a different location. Jake over hears this conversation and thinks that he is getting fired, so he decides to do what anyone would do in that situation: he calls up his friends and tells him that he is throwing a party down at the storage yard. Jake’s friends arrive and they begin partying like there is no tomorrow. Unfortunately for Jake and his friends Walter is expecting a pick up from a buyer, and since Jake, involuntarily, destroyed their secret stash Walter & Trevor decide to make Jake and his friends their new supply.
I really dug the story to this film. It had some basic rudimentary story plot ideas, but it still managed to have some originality to it, but I don’t want to give away too many details. I will say that I don’t think I will ever look at a storage unit the same again. I also really like the soundtrack to the film as well. The music was original and sounded good as well.
|Eric Roberts is quite the enjoyable psycho|
Another great aspect of the film was its actors. I’m not surprised that Tom DeNucci played the role of the films hero Jake. If I got the opportunity to direct one of the films that I wrote, I’d want a big part in it too. Jake’s a pretty basic, screwball twenty-something-year-old, who never-quite-got-his-life-together and works a dead end job. He’s a pretty basic character, but is not detestable. At times he’s actually an enjoyable character. Michael Berryman also gives a competent performance as Trevor, the kind-hearted older security guard. The best actor in the film—hands down—is Eric Roberts. I’ll be perfectly honest; I am not that big of a fan of Eric Roberts as an Actor. There’s only a couple of performances he’s given in films & TV that I actually enjoy, but he is so good in this film. Roberts character is deviously sinister, and he gives a chilling performance. You can tell that he is enjoying playing this character every second that he is on screen.
Now as much as I am praising this film, I have to address it has faults. It is a low-budget Horror film after all. My biggest complaint I have about the film is the character, Rip. Rip is this drug dealing, wannabe ghetto boy. The actor who plays them is named Ben Gracia. The way I’d best describe his performance is he’s like a TV After School Specials interpretation of what a drug dealer looks and sounds like. There is nothing positive or likeable about his character, and the only scene he was in that I enjoyed is when Michael Berryman’s character stabbed Rip to death.
Another problem I had with the film is that I felt the special effects were a little too cheesy. And I know I shouldn’t be that surprised that a low-budget film doesn’t have great effects, but some of them will just make you shake your head. There’s one scene where Michael Berryman’s character strikes one of the girls with a baton, and then we see her dead on the ground with her brains leaking out on the floor. What was her skull made out of paper-Mache? I don’t think a baton strike would do that much damage. Another scene shows a different girl being struck in the eye with her own high heel and an excessive amount of blood comes out as a result. I think the only way a high heel could do that much damage is if the person was still wearing the shoe and stepped and then drove the heel through the person’s eye.
|Yay! Michael Berryman|
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