Director – Ryan Stacy (It’s Your Fault, Midsummer Nightmares)
Starring – Sarah Curtis, Caroline Vineyard, and Josh Miller (Betsy, Applecart)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 4/5
I’ve been a part of Horror Society for five years now and over the years I have written horrible reviews for a number of indie filmmakers. In January of 2013 I was officially added to the staff list and soon after I became friends with the fine folks over at Concept Media. CM was preparing for the release of Bludgeon. After speaking to the film’s Facebook page I was introduced to Shawn and Ryan. Shawn was the man responsible for Bludgeon. I absolutely loved the film and requested to check out some other Concept Media films.
They were kind enough to send over Ryan’s first feature film Midsummer Nightmares. This post-Scream slasher was not my cup of tea. Fast forward a year or two and the filmmaking duo released an anthology titled Watch This! Ryan’s short, Ladies Night, completed knocked me for a loop. It was absolutely fantastic. It was brutal, clever, and the cast was fantastic.
Ryan Stacy has grown as a filmmaker and has released several amazing shorts and the full length film It’s Your Fault since his debut. Recently Ryan wrapped on his newest film Failing Grace starring several talented Ohio natives like Josh Miller, Marylee Osborne, and Brittant Blanton. Ryan was nice enough to reach out to me to check the film out. Thank you for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to check it out.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows overprotective Maggie (Curtis) and her younger sister Grace (Vineyard) who are working to rebuild their lives after the lose of their parents. Grace believes that her parents passed away during an accident but the truth is far worse. Maggie’s former lover, Jack (Miller), became obsessed with Grace and killed everyone that got in his way before Maggie could stop him. Now, years after the incident, the two sisters live day by day but Jack has found a way to get back into Grace’s life.**Spoiler Alert**
When I was younger I couldn’t stand thrillers. These boring tales often put me to sleep with their weak ass stories and lack of action. As I got older I started to appreciate the slow builds and the tension most was able to craft. It’s Your Fault showcased Ryan’s knack for character development and creating moody atmosphere. Ryan was able to follow that up with another effective dark thriller in Failing Grace.
The acting in this one is great. Especially when you consider that two of the leads had no prior acting credits on imdb before this film. Sarah Curtis and Caroline Vineyard look great on screen. They are natural on front of the camera and their dialogue is genuine. These two show great promise and I look forward to seeing future films starring them both. We also get a great performance from another familiar face. Marylee Osborne is great in her role. She is always amazing in front of the camera and has delivered several unforgettable performances in the past. She is a little underutilized in this film but she did great for the role she was given.
My favorite performance in the film belonged to Josh Miller. This is a phrase I often say in a lot of my reviews but I feel Miller is an underrated actor. He has played a wide range of characters from hopeless romantics down on his luck to masked figures with no emotions at all. To date this is my favorite performance. His unhinged portrayal of Jack makes me think that Miller could actually turn this character into the main focus of a series of films. Food for thought.
The story for this one is pretty straight forward but what makes it so enjoyable is the colorful characters and their development. So many horror/thrillers toss characters at the viewer and we are expected to take them at face value with no explanation as to why they are the way they are. Why is this character a bitch? Why does this character piss and moan all the time? There has to be a reason why the characters are the way they are and Ryan does a great job with that.
I also like the fact that the story is not overly complicated. Fools like myself don’t want to watch a movie where we have to take fucking notes to figure out what’s going on. The film is simple and effective. Hell, with some clever editing and a few reshoots we could very well have a classic slasher.
Finally, the film does have a few deaths. The few we get are rather quick and not as bloody as most horror fans would like. The effects we see are solid for the type of kill. The kills do fit the style of film. Overall, Failing Grace is everything you need in a dark thriller. The cast is amazing, the story has great pacing and characters, and even some death for you sick fucks. Ryan has grown tremendously as a filmmaker and this film is a testament to that. Check it out.