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The Independent Critic

Brina Palencia, Krishna Smitha, Tom Gelo, Sean O'Connor, Ricco Fajardo, Dexter Hostetter, Andrew Milbourn, Boo Williamson, Nick Commella
Mark Kerins
Justin Amos (Story), Sophia Basiliadis (Story), Cydney Cox (Story/Writer), Alyssa Evans (Story/Writer), Ryan Hawkins (Story), Ryan Kaul (Story), Mark Kerins (Story), Parker May (Story), Amanda Presmyk (Story), Adrien Vielder (Story/Writer)
78 Mins.
Terror FIlms

 "All the Wrong Friends" Screening at Indy Film Fest 
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Friends don't let friends get carried away...

And so it goes with All the Wrong Friends, the first feature film shot through Southern Methodist University's Summer Film Production Program and having its festival premiere at this week's Indy Film Fest at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indy.

The film centers around a group of high school friends who gather together a year after graduation only to realize that friendships have changed. When one of them winds up dead, the tension rises and everyone suspects everyone in what is being billed as a twist-filled thriller, though it really isn't particularly twisty nor particularly thrilling.

To their credit, the team behind All the Wrong Friends has gotten a lot of the basics regarding promotion right ranging from making sure that IMDB page is live and actually putting together a basic, though unfinished, website. The film will be showing twice, at 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday July 20th and at 5:00 p.m. on Friday July 22nd, both at the Tobias Theater (The Toby) in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The film is screening as part of the Hoosier Lens collection, films that are in this category are narrative or documentary films with strong production ties to Indiana. This includes principal cast or filmmaker with ties to the state (born, raised, attended school in state), or a significant portion of the film was shot or produced in Indiana. Director Mark Kerins, a Valparaiso University graduate, is now an Associate Professor of Film & Media Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he teaches classes in film production and post-production and is the faculty advisor for the Student Filmmakers Association (SFA).

Filmed over a period of 12 days by a crew of 20 students, All the Wrong Friends is a noble effort that never quite gels together perhaps owing to its piecemeal story development and apparent script by committee. The film's ensemble of characters is nearly wholly unlikable, though Alison (Brina Palencia) shows up and at least gives the film some emotional depth. Otherwise, even the scene where the dead body is found is almost laughable in presentation.

All the Wrong Friends misses the mark, plagued by too many cliche's and unsatisfying characters that don't hold your interest long enough for the twists to particularly matter. While it's easy to get excited about a new film project offering up-and-coming filmmakers hands-on experience, All the Wrong Friends is, unfortunately, a hands off film.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic