Main cast: Abby Wathen (Amanda Millard), Marlyn Mason (Mildred Colvin), Michael Meyer (Billy Colvin), Max Gutfreund (Brad), Greg James (Sheriff Joe Palin), Hannah Barefoot (Deputy Julie Nelson), Sonya Davis (Brittany), and Douglas Rowe (Pastor Ben Hastings)
Director: Brad Douglas
Take a closer look at the so-called top billing – that’s Marlyn Manson, not Marilyn Manson, and it’s Michael Meyer, not the Michael Meyers. That’s basically what Besetment is: a poor substitute for whatever wonderful things you are imagining in your head when you decide to watch this one.
Amanda Millard has two things on her mind: to get a job ASAP and to get away from her toxic mother. She seems to have found both when she becomes the new maid at the Oregon Hotel… not in a bustling city, but in a small town called Mitchell some 80 miles away from her mother. It sounds good, especially when the owner Mildred Colvin seems to be a warm and understanding lady. Mildred’s son Billy is… simple, let’s just say, but he seems harmless.
In a way, Billy is harmless, but hah, surprise, Mildred turns out to be an unstable lunatic who decides that Amanda will be perfect as Billy’s new bride, so she’d make sure that the wedding takes place, with or without the young lady’s consent. First she decides to drug Amanda into passing out, and then inseminate her with Billy’s semen (which Mildred extracts from Billy herself because she’s that kind of mother), before tying the now pregnant Amanda up in a bedroom while she makes wedding plans. Will poor Amanda ever get out of this ordeal alive?
This movie is a headscratcher. Brad Douglas, who also wrote the script, has this movie set up for Amanda to undergo all kinds of painful things at Mildred’s hands, but the pacing is so slow that the whole thing feels more like a very slow acting sleeping pill than some hillbilly torture flick. The acting is barely passable, bordering on cartoon ham at times, and characterization is poor enough that I don’t care when certain characters get bumped off. Mr Douglas attempts to include some Fargo-style humor here and there, but even those efforts at levity fall flat. The whole thing is just flat. Flat acting, flat story line, flat characters… I just don’t care.
And if that isn’t bad enough, then there is that very stupid final scene that makes no sense at all. Maybe Brad Douglas should explore other genres in the future, although he may want to stay away from comedy too. And drama. And thriller. And… well, maybe Netflix has an opening, who knows.
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