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The Independent Critic

Jamie Saunders, Cody Clarke, Chloe Pelletier, Bill Weeden, Mason Carter, Jack Gordon, Dolores McDougal, Chaim Samuels, Piper Verbrick, Alexandra Hess, Molly Siskin
Cody Clarke
93 Mins. 

 Cody Clarke Back With "Ramekins" Sequel 
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Writer/director returns to the land of his indie flick Ramekin with this semi-sequel Ramekins: Ramekin II, an intriguing film in which Emily (a returning Jamie Saunders) is an aspiring actress haunted by her past and future when she is cast in an indie horror project by Cody (Cody Clarke) about a killer ramekin. 

A ramekin is a small dish typically used for culinary purposes. It's also one of the dishes left behind in the historic apartment of Emily's great grandma which she now shares with her elderly great uncle Jared (Bill Weeden), a goofy but delightful dude who looks like a Woodstock leftover who likely did a few too many shrooms. 

As the story goes, Cody sees Emily's self-video in an acting database and the seed is planted for this indie horror project. As it turns out, even Emily's apartment is ideal and Jared is willing to skedaddle for a bit just to get himself out of the way. 

It is rather impressive just how Clarke manages to tie everything and everyone together. I would almost call this film more a companion film than an actual sequel, though kudos must be given to Clarke for not simply repeating himself over and over again. 

Chaim Samuels, as Mark, and Piper Verbrick, as Jane, are here as friends of Emily's and prospective cast members. Longtime Clarke collaborator Chloe Pelletier, easily the highlight of the film, seems synced into Clarke's vibe as Chloe. 

As usual, Clarke has multiple functions for the film including writing, directing, co-starring, lensing, editing, and helping out with special effects. I couldn't help but admire what Clarke was going for here, however, as the closing credits were scrolling by I couldn't help but have to acknowledge a basic truth - I didn't enjoy it. At all. The things that worked in the original Ramekin seem either lost here or abandoned with the shift in storyline. The tension that made Emily's weirdness so fun to watch feels more like a plot device than naturally manifested here. The ensemble's chemistry feels off - while I do think part of this is intentional, what exists simply didn't hold my attention and it felt like I was playing a cinematic game of connect-the-dots with some of the dots missing. 

I wanted to love this film, or at least like it, but what can I say? I didn't. The lensing, however, is strong as usual for Clarke and there's something genuinely inspired bubbling underneath the surface. While I've generally been a fan of Clarke's low-budget indie work, Ramekins: Ramekin II simply left me with a sense of "meh." There's no question that Clarke is a gifted writer/director and there's also likely no question that this film will have its fans. It's available for viewing on Prime Video and while watching the original isn't necessarily mandatory it will all make a bunch more sense if you do. The original, Ramekin, is a film that for the most part took this rather insane concept and had some major fun with it. It's definitely worth checking out and will give you more appreciation for Ramekins: Ramekin II. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic