If you’re looking for an independent movie worthy of your attention, I present to you Confession. Behind this generic title hides an ambitious thriller exploring some of the humanities’ most important issues. As it usually happens with these movies, the storytelling is a bit disjointed, and too much is thrown at the viewer. We follow two detectives as they’re trying to figure out if they got their serial killer. Actually, the entire movie feels more like a novel. Like you’re somehow watching a novel coming to life if that makes any sense. Basically, too much exposition and meandering for my taste. The difference between great and average is not knowing what to add but what to detract from. To boil ideas down to their essence and then present them in an approachable manner. To trim the fat to be blunt.
And while the execution may be average, there’s something great about Confession. The very themes we’re exploring are incredibly interesting. This is where the movie shines, presenting quite a subversive and intelligent dialogue. So, just try to make it to the interrogation room and everything will fall into place. Here, the atmosphere becomes intense and we get this claustrophobic vibe, trapped in a room with a mysterious stranger. A mysterious stranger who’s questioning everything we believe in and the very world we live in. This is one of those movies that makes you think. Moreover, it provides some authentic lines of argument and concepts that might come in handy.
Jared Lamb, a detective looking for a serial killer who evaded him so far, may have just got his guy. Dean McCallum, an average-looking middle-aged guy walked into a restaurant covered in blood and was immediately arrested. Now, he finds himself in a questioning room grilled by both Jared and his partner Detective Reina Herrera. However, soon both of them will realize that there’s something strange going on with Dean. Something that will make them question their own sanity…
Basically, Confession is too ambitious for its own good. I can see all these perfectly framed scenes looking much better with a bigger budget. However, this is a low-budget production and this makes most of these scenes seem off. Streamlined, concise, and without about 30-45 minutes of exposition this would be an engaging thriller punching way above its weight. I mean, after ninety minutes, we get probably the best scenes in the entire movie. I reveled in the thoughtful and poignant questioning of reality to the point of exhilaration. On the other hand, that’s me, a nihilistic, hedonistic atheist who loves to watch movies. The vibe reminded me of The Man from Earth and Frailty. Not a bad company to be in.
Finally, this being a serial killer movie, there were a couple of creepy and somewhat disturbing scenes. The one with the bodies covered with clear plastic sheets was really unnerving. So, it’s no wonder we get a couple of subtle Lovecraft references. The cast was okay, with Gary C. Stillman stealing the show as the brooding detective. In conclusion, Confession is a solid debut for Daniel C. Nyiri, worth watching for the subjects it explores alone. Enjoy.
Writer: Daniel C. Nyiri
Director: Daniel C. Nyiri
Cast: Gary C. Stillman, Gavin Lyall, Queena DeLany, Cynthia Martells, Bailey Barnick, Jo Kuzelka
Fun Facts: The film was produced for a cash outlay of only $20,455.00 with all cast and crew deferring their salaries.