Catch Hell (2014)

Director: Ryan Phillippe
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Tig Notaro, Joyful Drake, Stephen Luis Grush. USA. 1h 38m.

Ryan Phillippe owns everything in his directorial debut, written, directed and playing the lead in this bizarre and sentimental kidnapping drama. As much as the film could be sized down to a massive ego trip, as everything revolves around Ryan, it’s also a testament to the art of one man making an independent movie, and it’s a great attempt as a debut but it does seem to drag out a pretty simple story, it still delivers something unique and different to a traditionally tough genre.

Reagon (Ryan Phillippe) is an attractive but washed up actor who gets kidnapped by two crazy rednecks each with huge chips on their shoulders, once he’s safely stowed away in a cabin located in a croc infested swamp, the character development of his captors begins, flowing between the two chalk and cheese criminals and their broken pasts. Reagon spends most of his time with the younger, more sensitive Junior (Stephen Luis Grush) who is the most developed character in this torrid tale.

The story remains simple, the actor is kidnapped and held to ransom and has to fight for survival but what it uncovered a dark abusive husband with a mysterious dark sexual, stoner nightmare that is Junior. The swamp, despite it’s giant reptile inhabitants is beautiful, the characters steamy and hostile in a faux Cat on a Hot Tin Roof style neo noir. The stereotypes, however run wild. The only thing missing is a hillbilly dope field and someone screaming “Squeal Piggy”.

While it’s not the most amazing film, it seems to draw out a simple story be diving into the characters and that’s where the magic happens, the ending credits bring it all home and add in a final twist to whole scheme of right and wrong. So much of the film seems underdeveloped but it was

Rating – 3/10

Lists: Cabin Flicks, Hillbilly Films

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