Its hard not to appreciate a film thats bold enough to begin with a beautiful girl on a sailboat, writing fabulously vague prose in her journal before diving naked into an underwater wonderland awash in the sun's rays, only to cut to a kidnapping scene so disturbing it gives one the feeling of being tossed from a warm hammock into a frigid blue sea. But thats the first two minutes of "Legacy", a film by director Stephen Savage. The mood of the film is... well, moody, to say the least. It moves at a pace which, without a slew of uniquely written and well acted characters , might collapse under the weight of its own broodiness. But the viewer is drawn in so quickly to this heavy-handed world of dysfunctional creepiness that there is hardly a chance to analyze the timing. The story revolves around Ari (Kyrie Maezumi), an almost too exotically beautiful young woman who's father was one of the most notorious serial killers in history. Ari has written a book based on her experiences with her dad on his last great killing spree. The book has become a best seller, and Ari something of a celebrity. But fame and attention have left the troubled young girl as dead inside as any of her pop's victims. Returning home after a five year absence from all that unwanted fame to the same house where dear old dad had murdered her own mother years before, Ari is confronted not only with her own haunted past, but also by a family so screwed up it would make the Menednez Brothers seem sweet by comparison. An interview with spook obsessed TV personality Tandi Lewis brings fame back into Ari's life, along with a new rash of serial killings under the same MO as her father's had been years earlier. To say too much here would be to give away the plot. There are so many twists and turns that one is left dizzy from trying to figure out who among the many suspects is the real killer. But thats where the fun lies in watching this old school thrill-fest. It truly is an old fashioned who-done-it, with an ending as surprising as anything M. Night Shyamalan might conjure up. And it is a thrill for sure. The audience was jumping and flinching at every turn, me among them. There are some great performances here that should be mentioned, including "A Few Good Men" star Wolfgang Bodison as a very real and likable FBI agent, the aforementioned Kyrie Maezumi, who underplays the role of Ari with a feverish sexiness that is hard to forget, Will Wallace of "The Thin Red Line" and "Broke Sky", playing a town sheriff with more than a few "issues", and a cast of talented new-comers who, armed with some great (and often humorous) dialog, eat up the screen and seem to wear their characters like well tailored gloves. Cazzy Golomb as the devious younger sister turns in a performance to rival anything in "Bad Girls". Francesca Brown as Tandi, who has enough dry british sarcasm to fill a soccer stadium, and Alisa Schulz as Bodison's unsure but eager partner, all contribute to this cat and mouse scare-a-thon in a most admirable way. Rounding out a cast of fine actors are Oscar Torre, Christopher Pennock, Kristina Grindle, Jim Rizor, and Carson Aune. Legacy is a fine example of small budget indie coolness, and I know it will find an audience in a big way. Look for it later this year.
I saw this film at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema in January and I couldn't agree more. This really is a cool indie film. The acting is amazing, as is the writing and directing. I hope it finds it's way into broad release soon. Worth seeing for sure.
This is a pretty damn good film. I saw it in Palm Springs at the Camelot Theatre, one of the coolest art house theaters in California. I love the lead actress Kyrie Maezumi (?), and the writing and directing is really first rate. Good casting all around. Does anyone know when it will be out in theaters or on DVD?
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