Confessional is a Shudder original film released in 2019, yet coming to the Shudder platform in late May 2020. This film seemed confused about what it really wanted to be, but either way I still had a fun time watching it. Bottle episodes are always really fun! Just don’t expect anything with a satisfying ending.
The direction of the film was solid. I think the script was a little bit convoluted and took a little bit too long to get to where it was supposed to get to, but the film does follow a solid tone and style throughout, and I really appreciate that. Each character was clearly thought out stylistically as well, which I loved.
The plot was probably the worst part about the film. Like I said, it got a bit convoluted. I had to keep trying to remind myself what was going on. There are maybe three different storylines all going on simultaneously around the death of Amelia, and they’re also all connected somehow or involve the same people, so it can get confusing. I think this film could serve from some different editing styles. They put it into parts, but that also felt incredibly unnecessary. I think if the story was maybe cut into chunks of 15 minute confessions from each person instead, that could have been really interesting. But again, with such a convoluted story I think this could have benefited from narrowing down what it was trying to say.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
I absolutely love this style of film for the simple fact of how one on one you get with the characters. Some of the characters are good; I especially liked Raquel, of course. She is the feisty redhead who seems to know more than she lets on. She seemed like one of the most realistic characters, and she reminded me of people I’ve met before. Some of the characters came off as very dry and dull such as June (Paris Berelc) and Noelle. Noelle specifically was overly dramatic - not just as a character, but Vanessa Marano was over the top with facial cues. Noelle felt too strong and over the top for me to be able to take her seriously. I didn’t even register her blinking once. Major was a character I had an issue with as well. He is the jock, heavily right winged guy. As the story began to unfold, I really felt like he was just there to make people angry and then there was the stereotypical twist that happened with him, which I won’t mention due to spoilers. It felt very predictable once his story started to unfold. It’s unfortunate I am avoiding spoilers because this trend is actually happening in films and TV a lot more now. Once you watch, I believe you will know exactly what I’m referring to. But the cast is pretty 50/50 when it comes to skill and believability.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The score of the film was decent. It helped remind me of the suspenseful tone of the film during moments that may appear less sinister. Otherwise, nothing much to say about the music.
Confessional relied heavily on dialogue to move the story forward, and considering the bottle episode nature of the film, special effects are pretty minimal in this. However, there was nothing glaringly negative to say about the effects; they worked okay for me.
"...Don’t expect anything with a satisfying ending."
Confessional is getting a half (verdict) from me since I did really enjoy the film, but I can note more than just one issue that I had with it. However, at the end of the day I’d definitely still recommend it. The camera work and cinematography had to get really creative, and they did and it worked great. I appreciate films that take risks with their storytelling like this one did. Honestly, I will be looking for other works from Brad T. Gottfred and Jennifer Wolfe.