Toby Hemingway, Scout Taylor Compton, Josh Pence, Cody Longo, Frances Fisher
Jennifer Clary, Kevin Haberer
"The Silent Thief" Review
This is what I live for as a film critic.
Just three years ago, I had the good fortune to review a wonderful short film called Dirty Girl from up-and-coming filmmaker Jennifer Clary. Flash forward three years and Ms. Clary remembered my review of her short and offered me the chance to be one of the first to review her feature film debut, The Silent Thief.
The Silent Thief is a psychological thriller centered around Brennan Marley (Toby Hemingway, Black Swan & In Time), a seemingly harmless young man who rents a room in the beach house home of the Henderson family.
The problem is that Brennan isn't really that harmless. He's a cunning drifter with an insatiable need to belong, a need that fuels his willingness to do whatever it takes to find a place to call home. He picks, not so surprisingly, the perfect family to prey upon as the Henderson's are adjusting to life without their son, Mike (Cody Longo, Piranha 3D), who has gone off to college and whose room he is renting.
The Silent Thief is a bold film similar in tone to 2005's The King in the way that it relentlessly explores family secrets, dysfunction and familial bonds. As the film progresses, Brennan's tactics become more and more extreme to ensure that by the time Mike returns for the holidays he will have been replaced as the Henderson's son.
Toby Hemingway is terrific as Brennan, weaving together what can only be described as a menacing vulnerability. Yes, it is apparently possible to be both menacing and vulnerable at the same time. Even as you're sitting there watching Hemingway, uncomfortably aware that something just isn't right, you're also sitting there just like the Henderson's buying into each and every word, action and faux response. Hemingway's turn here is yet further evidence of his promising future on the Hollywood scene.
The supporting cast is equally strong with Scout Taylor Compton (Rob Zombie's Halloween, Halloween II) proving particularly impressive as Elise Henderson, an impressionable high school senior who falls under Brennan's spell. Longo is also strong as the wary Mike, a cocky athletic type insightful enough to see that something just not right with Brennan. Frances Fisher (The Lincoln Lawyer, Janie Jones) and Kurt Fuller (television's Psych) also do a fine job as mom and pop Henderson.
Tech credits are top notch throughout the film, with D.P. Andrew Wheeler's camera work constantly leaving the viewer on edge and wondering what's coming next while William Goodrum's original score builds the suspense in all the right moments.
The Silent Thief has been accepted by The Palm Beach International Film Festival and was one of only nine international features selected for competition in Rome, Italy's Rome Independent Film Festival. For more information on the film, visit the film's website listed above.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic