Dylan Nunez, Paul Parducci, Kira Omans, Ari Hader, Alain Mora, Betsy Baker
James Ersted, David R. Larson
Movie Review: What Happened to Suzy
After several years of making indie shorts, James Ersted is coming out with his feature directorial debut What Happened to Suzy The film has its world premiere at the Central Florida Film Festival from January 19-21 and should easily find a home on the indie/microcinema film festival circuit.
The film centers around a young locksmith, Andy (Dylan Nunez), who with the help of a documentary film crew investigates the mysterious disappearance of his sister. As the journey spirals, Andy begins to discover the terrifying truth.
What Happened to Suzy is a slow-building mystery with a story, co-written by Ersted with David R. Larson, that leans into horror the more everything begins to unfold. While Nunez is largely front-and-center here, he's supported by a talented ensemble cast that includes a terrific Ari Hader as Al, the gifted Paul Parducci as Don, and the always welcome Betsy Baker (The Evil Dead) in support.
A longtime sound guy, Ersted has always done a nice job of maximizing the technical side of his films despite the challenge of working in the indie world. The same is true with What Happened to Suzy Todd Kapelt's lensing really amps up the film's tension, especially as the story reveals itself, and kudos should also go to Alyssa Forstmann's production design and Ersted's own suspense-filled editing for the film.
What Happened to Suzy is a promising feature debut for Ersted with an engaging story and compelling choices throughout. It will be fun to watch the film's festival journey in 2024 along with Ersted's continued filmmaking efforts moving forward.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic