Director – Tom Botchii Skowronski (Novak, 11 Minutes)
Starring – Chase Williamson (John Dies at the End, Beyond the Gates), Jerry G. Angelo (Better Call Saul, Road Wars), and Gavin White (The Reunion, 14 Camera)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Release the purity within”
My October horror binge is still in full force. This month I’ve seen some awesome movies along with a few duds. None of the film was a stinker like The Lingering and I hope I don’t come across another like it the remainder of the month. I wanted to once again dive into a movie I had never seen before and only recently received the newest Epic Pictures release of Artik. The movie looked interesting but I didn’t know enough about the film to make assumptions before tossing it in. I want to thank Epic Pictures for sending this one over for me to check out.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows an unusual family consisting of a serial killer father (Angelo), a backwards mother, and their gang of kids. One day one of their boys meets a straight edge man (Williamson) at a AA meeting. He befriends him and soon the man realizes that the kids is not being taken care of. The boy’s father suspects something is going on and kidnaps the man to torture and kill but he is able to break free with the help of the abused kids. After a game of cat and mouse the serial killer finds himself on the opposite side for once.**Spoiler Alert**
I have a bad habit of letting a movie’s artwork determine my excitement for a new movie I’ve never seen before. I know I’m not alone but I often get excited for a movie if the artwork is colorful or fun. Sadly, a lot of the time the artwork is better than the movie and the same can be said the other way around. I lost count how many movies had shitty artwork that were actually pretty fucking good. Artik is one of those movies. Think back to the video store days and how you would more than likely skip this release if you saw the poster above sitting on the shelf. I’m glad I gave the film a chance because I actually liked it.
The acting in this one is fucking fantastic. I absolutely loved the cast. Chase Williamson is a phenomenal actor that just doesn’t get enough roles. I loved his character in the film though I could have lived without the whole straight edge part. I have always found that to be kind of weird. I also really enjoyed Jerry G. Angelo performance. I loved the complexity of his character and the personality he portrayed. The supporting cast is solid but their characters don’t stand out like these two.
The story for this one starts out very dry and slow paced but by the 45 minute mark we find the film picking up momentum which saves it. Once we get to the point the film is energetic and highly entertaining. If you stick with it you will enjoy the ride. Finally, we do get some pretty brutal practical effects and kills but there is a spot or two with extremely noticeable visual effects that stick out from the rest of the gag. It does cheapen these kills but not enough to ruin the film.
Overall, Artik starts out slow but ends with a bang. The story is interesting without being overly complicated and the acting is top notch. Check it out.