FISSURE is the inaugural piece from director Russ Pond and written by first-time screenwriter Nicholas Turner. From the trailer, one might actually think that this is a horror or thriller genre film. Even the first twenty minutes of the film leave you feeling uneasy; like something just isn’t right but you can’t quite put your finger on it. This film does a great job of keeping up the suspense and also crafting a story that uses elements of sci-fi, film noir, police procedural, thriller, and drama to entertain the audience and keep them guessing from the moment the movie starts until the credits roll.
This film looks amazing. The special effects, use of depth-of-field, color correction and saturation to create mood, etc. are all done to spectacular effect. The score is subtle, no intrusive, but evokes contemporary thrillers of the same ilk.
The story here centers around policeman Paul Grunning (played by James MacDonald channeling ‘The Shield”s Michael Chiklis wonderfully), who’s recent domestic issues have forced him into counseling, and his bosses treating him with kid gloves due to his fragile mental state. (I’d give more info on this, but the story behind this is actually really good and I’d hate to spoil the plot points for the readers). One day he receives a call about a disturbance not far from his location. Upon his arrival he find a dead body of well known scientist Roger Ulster (Jim Blumetti). As he makes his way around the house he attempts to find clues to what initially seems like a suicide. Paul talks to all the people in the house who might have been a witness, or know anything about the incident. As the day wears on though, Paul realizes that somehow he’s shifting in time throughout the house. Sometimes by hours, sometimes by an entire day. This is where the Sci-Fi aspect of the movie comes into play. It turns out that what Roger was working on had to do with experimenting with layers in time, ripples, and tears…Fissures.
Story, in this movie works slightly like a Tarantino film, with a touch of M. Night Shyamalan thrown in. The way they play with the main character’s psyche and mental state are done well, and even when the plot device is revealed to the character, he evolves further into what is truly the hero of the story. The only question I had that seemed like an obvious loose end in the film that I was going to mention was “If a guy was shot in the house, why didn’t anyone else hear the gunshot?”…But I thought about it (a good thing for a movie to do…make the audience think AFTER seeing it), and realized that the answer was obvious (I’m not giving it away here). The supporting cast does a great job in aiding the story and providing red herrings, and plot advancement, leaving you wondering until the end who might truly be responsible for Roger’s death.
Overall original, fun, entertaining, gripping, and thought provoking to watch. It really will keep you guessing until the last five minutes. The way the director and writer blend genres to make this movie is expertly accomplished and surprising given that this is their first film.