Friends Don’t Let Friends

By: Nick van Dinther

There are so many wonderful and creative upstart filmmakers putting out fantastic work.  Whether they’re film students or people with a true passion for the industry, they do their best to fund an idea, bring it to life, and share it with the world.  When they decide to release the project for profit however, it needs to meet a certain standard.  Brownwell Entertainment’s Friends Don’t Let Friends, a horror/thriller about covering up a murder and disposing of the body, falls rather short of that standard.

Friends Don’t Let Friends is a low budget horror film and, according to its official website, it seems as if most of the movie was shot in a single night.  If that trivia is true, then so much of its shabbiness makes sense.  The main problems are, in fact, due to the film’s limited budget and rushed timeframe, but there are some other weaknesses that exist regardless of that.

Aside from Brendan McGowan, who gives a believable performance in a supporting role, no other roles particularly stand out.  Then again, the cast is fighting against an undercooked story and flat dialogue.  It’s a shame considering the film toys with some interesting ideas, including a noteworthy twist that would stick its landing if the film had created more interest early on.  What’s arguably more disappointing are the unmotivated uses of “shaky cam” and the strange choices to apply extreme close-ups during inappropriate moments.

Friends Don’t Let Friends has the making-of story of a unique experiment.  The filmmakers should be respected for putting themselves out there and attempting something new, but the finished movie just doesn’t hit the mark.  As the quality of “amateur” filmmaking increases and impresses on public platforms like YouTube, the bar becomes that much higher, and shoestring genre pieces like Friends Don’t Let Friends can’t quite reach it.

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Nick van Dinther: @NickVanDinther

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