Today I watched an American crime thriller from 2011. Titled “Choose”, it was the directorial debut by Marcus Graves, written by the team of Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson (“Love Happens”, “Dragonfly”).
The movie opens in the home of Elliot Vincent (John Rothman – “Ghostbusters”) where a masked intruder gives Vincent’s teenage daughter Sara (Shana Dowdeswell – “Mercy”) a choice – she has to choose between her father of mother being murdered, or they will both be killed. Then when she has made her choice she has to deliver the killer blow!
We then join Fiona Wagner (Katheryn Winnick – “Vikings”, “The Art Of The Steel”), a journalism student who is still haunted by her mother’s suicide in a cheap motel a few years previously.
The bad guy, Scar Lip (Nicholas Tucci – “You’re Next”) next targets concert pianist Simon (Tom Cleary – “Lebanon, Pa.”), who is forced to choose between losing his ability to hear or his ability to actually play.
Model Jenna (Kate Nauta – “Nine Miles Down” is subsequently told to choose between losing her sight or losing her looks. Fiona gets drawn into the case when she is contacted online by Scar Lip, initially with vague comments about her mother and then with pictures of Jenna’s mutilated face.
Sheriff Tom Wagner (Kevin Pollak – “The Usual Suspects”), Fiona’s father, tries his best to keep his daughter away from his official investigation but has to relent somewhat when he finds that her research (and the amazing power of Google!) means that she is coming up with answers quicker than he and his team can.
It’s clear from early on that Fiona is central to what’s happening, and that there is a connection to her late mother, but luckily nothing is given away too early so that we are in for some surprises and twists (and there is yet another twist right at the end too).
Winnick, who impressed throughout “Vikings” was clearly star of the show, but the rest of the cast, including veteran Bruce Dern (“Cut Bank”) as Dr. Ronald Pendleton, were on the money too.
All in all this was a pretty decent thriller, with a particularly uncomfortable way for the bad guy to operate – the choices thing really is an unpleasant thought…