The Brick House

[Swift disclaimer: Doug Anderson is a former critic of ours, a great friend, and a dreamer who created a kickstarter project that not only got made, but is one this critic highly recommends!]

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (5 People gave this 4.80 out of 5)
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“You’re a true fool.” Leonard Wolf

The Brick House

Swift shot: The Three Little Pigs is one of the most recognizable fairy tales of all time. In The Brick House, Director Gustavo Cervantes and Co-Writer Doug Layne Anderson present a relatable modern story that masterfully weaves almost all of the classic elements that we all grew up reading. As three estranged brother pigs are reunited when their beloved uncle meets an untimely end and wills them his property . . . a nearly burned down brick house. Things get problematic when they don’t agree on what to do with the property. Some things are not for sale, and families are complicated.

Using the classic, straw, sticks, and bricks devices with a modern slant, the story unfolds as a pack of wolves serve as greedy land developers, in a believable thriller that deserves to be watched. And, fret not, these aren’t animated pigs, they are very real, and they feel very real in how they are presented. They are vulnerable and soft characters that face genuine peril. The makeup folks at North Fur deserve praise for giving these creatures an animus that immediately conveys what Cervantes and Anderson were hoping for in every scene.

Brother pigs Jack (Josh New), Bill (Gallagher Goodland) and Curly (Thomas Johnson) are distinct characters with evolving qualities as the film progresses, and each one grows from their experience at the brick house. Byron Wolf (Brendan Hopkins), James Wolf (Andy Woodard) and the leader of the pack of land grabbers that puts even Harry Reid to shame, Leonard Wolf (Bill Terpenning/Dave Lovell) are greedy developers who won’t take no for an answer.

I can tell you that Leonard Wolf was the most menacing wolf I have personally witnessed on screen since my favorite cult-classic, Dog Soldiers. When Leonard speaks, everyone in the room pays attention. He proves to be much more shrewd and ruthless than his words shroud. When he finally reveals his true nature, it’s downright chilling.

Jack is too trusting of the characters he meets, especially the wolves. Bill is essentially the coward who goes along with anyone who can influence him. Curly is the “what is in this for me” type who harbors resentment towards Jack for leaving. ┬áThe brothers must find a common ground, as the wolves are steadily demanding they sell.

The Brick House is a true indie film. The funds were gathered up on kickstarter, and even I chipped in a few bucks to help bring this classic story to screen. Now you have giants in the media asking for crowdfunding – it’s disgusting! This is the kind of film, and studio, that needs kickstarter/indiegogo to survive.

Because this is a true indie film, there are raw edges in places. They are smoothed out by some artistic cinematography, creative camera work and superb original music by Anderson. The story is compelling and even gripping as you reach the climax of the film desperately hoping these little pigs manage to defeat the wolves. And, maybe this fairy tale doesn’t have a happy ending?

This is a thriller that could easily find a place next to your copy of the original Straw Dogs, it uses a slow crescendo of suspense to build-up to a dramatic conclusion with sympathetic characters you are sure to be rooting for. That is, unless you favor land developers who will stop at nothing to gain land, I mean, if you are the type who rooted for the Bureau of Land Management using SWAT teams and tasing folks at the Bundy Ranch – maybe this film isn’t for you.

The Brick House pulls you in every second. We all know the story, but no one is sure how it is going to end! That is what I especially loved about the film.

 


One Response to “The Brick House”

  1. Mario Vazquez Says:

    This movie is awesome! Set in the mid west with strong values defeating greed and with a modern day twist of the original children's story – The Three Little Pigs. A must see for everyone. I highly recommend it.

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