The Control Group (2014)

Writers: Logan Gion, Peter Hurd    Director: Peter Hurd   Starring: Brad Dourif, Taso Stavrakis, Ross Deitiche, Jenna Enemy, Justen Jones, Emily Soto

This is the true definition of an indie film done well. Is it perfect? No, of course, it isn’t. But it’s good. The story is well written; the actors are great, not stilted or stiff. It’s a slightly different take on the same story: kids trapped in a mental asylum.

Being able to snag the incomparable Brad Dourif (aka Chucky from “Child’s Play”) certainly didn’t hurt any. He plays the doctor in charge of our “Control Group.” When the five kids wake up, they find themselves locked in and fairly lost in the “abandoned” asylum. Jack, the last to wake up and join the contentious group, sees a dead girl. Anna let’s him know there is more going on than meets the eye. The group can’t trust what they see or hear, due to the drugs they’ve been given. I’m not going to say much more, but I will say it’s a little twisty, just to keep you on your toes.

This is the first film from writer/director Peter Hurd. It’s a good one, opening the door for more work from him. Now, don’t let the date fool you. It was made in 2014, but due to it being an indie film, there was some shopping around to find a distributor. They did, and the film will see VOD release May 9, 2017. I suggest you see this, because you’ll be seeing more from this director.

I know people are going to raise hell about the special effects. Well, folks, independent films often don’t have the budget for CGI effects. That’s where the wonderful art of practical effects comes in. While not shining star spectacular, they are pretty damn good for the film’s budget. The actors are great…if you’re looking for someone to be in your film, pick one of these up-and-comers.

I say see this movie. Peter Hurd brings out the natural talents in the actors– something which only a few indie film directors can do. Peter actually reminds me of a younger Harrison Smith, another director able to bring out the best in the actors.

I don’t give out stars or tomatoes or anything like that. I just know what I like and what I like to see as a horror/thriller fan. “The Control Group” is worth seeing. I’ve seen worse movies that have bigger budgets and confusing storylines. Take the time to support indie film.