The other day I stumbled across the movie ‘Hellion (2014)‘ whilst browsing through Aaron Paul‘s acting career on IMDb and I decided to watch it simply because I enjoy his work and had a bit of time to kill – it was an added bonus that it was a short film!
I didn’t have a clue what to expect as I’d never heard of it and I just quickly watched the trailer prior to watching, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The acting performances were sharp throughout the whole cast and some of the cinematography was brilliantly unique. Therefore, after watching and thinking about the film for a while one thought popped into my head – everyone should experience more indie films.
I have a simply reasoning for this, film watching should be an experience, just as film making is and so we should all be able to experience something individual and a bit different. This applies regardless of how good the film is, because from a critiquing point of view, you have to watch some horribly bad films to appreciate the good ones more. It’s an added bonus if the film turns out to actually be one that you enjoy.
The main problem that the indie genre faces is a simple and obvious one – they don’t have as much money injected into them (thus they’re an indie movie) and so they don’t get publicised, released and reviewed like bigger budget films would. Therefore, they never get the same exposure and fewer people end up watching them; it’s rather simple. This is pretty tragic when you think about it, because films such as Hellion have a greater scale of depth compared to many Hollywood movies that manage to be seen by such a greater number of people.
Supposing there was no sense of convenience associated with watching a film, and by this I mean opting for a ‘safe’ movie – one that you’ve seen before or heard lots about, then everyone would be watching more indie films because of the often intriguing story lines and unique camera craft. This leads me to a whole other debate which I won’t touch upon now, but the thought is still there – are people forgetting what makes a good film and just giving into watching the films that they’re told to watch (by the media, marketing etc.)
Indie films are by no means perfect, they’re arguably the most fluctuating genre of film out there because they could be considered as start-up films. Hellion is a true example of something not being perfect, it most definitely had obvious flaws, but I think that it’s good for anybody interested in film to step out of the Hollywood comfort zone and watch something a bit unusual every once in a while.
For example, The Place Beyond the Pines (2013), was one of the most underrated films of last year in my opinion, quite possibly down to the fact it was low-budget and had an alternative style. It’s surprising that films like Pines didn’t get the same look in seeing as it had a stand out cast – Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper playing the two leads – but I suppose that everyone just remembered it for its sinking final third rather than the brilliance of the first third.
I suppose it all comes down to comfort zones, why would anybody think to watch an indie movie when they’re hardly advertised and you can see something that everyone’s talking about much more easily. It takes a little bit of research to find an indie film that you might enjoy, looking through prizes awarded at film festivals (I find Sundance a great festival to use as research) but sometimes, putting in a bit of time and effort reaps the rewards.