By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
Writer/director and artist Daniel Peddle offers a cerebral, tense, and suspenseful thriller that portrays two starkly different portraits of unbridled youth and shows its audience what can happen when they collide. Shot and produced on a low budget, Sunset Edge may be a simple looking film, but one that has absolutely gorgeous cinematic compositions. Cinematographer Karim Lopez brings Peddles vision to life as do the rest of the minimal crew and the cast. Though not an extraordinary film overall, Edge does have much going for it and is indicative of a filmmaker with excellent potential.
In an abandoned North Carolina neighborhood, a group of suburban teens decide to camp for the evening, exploring the remains of an old trailer park with a haunting history. While rummaging through old memories and small treasures left behind, Jacob, Haley, Will, and Blaine seem to not have any cares in the world. There lives take a completely unexpected turn when a mysterious stranger named Malachi begins secretly observing the kids at play. Malachi is the only remaining resident of the area and he has a direct connection with the disturbing history of Sunset Edge.
Peddle and Lopez have created a beautiful looking film from a cinematic point of view. The look of the movie does appear to be the work of true artists. The story, however, does leave a bit to be desired. A slow burner, the plot starts slowly and builds tension strongly and the story of Malachi’s past is definitely engrossing. I just feel that the movie loses its steam and has a rather disappointing conclusion. I expected a more thrilling and exciting climax, but things fizzle out somewhat.
Nevertheless, I am impressed with Daniel Peddle as a director, as well as the performances of the cast who have no acting experience whatsoever. I am still unsure if the strong performances are the result of newly discovered acting talents or are just another indication of Peddle’s abilities as a director. Either way, Peddle and his cast and crew should be very proud of their work overall. For a first time full length feature film, Peddle has certainly gotten off to a strong start.
Fans of understated, Americana independent films will definitely want to see this movie. However, at the moment, the film will only open in three select cities on May 29. If in the New York, NY area, the film will be playing at the Cinema Village on 22 E. 12th St. If in Pasadena, CA, one can find the movie playing at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 on 673 E. Colorado Blvd. If in Irvine, CA, Sunset Edge will play at the Regal/Edwards Westpark 8 on 3735 Alton Parkway. As for anyone else interested in seeing the film, it may appear on VOD soon or through other video rental outlets. As of now, no other releases of any kind have been announced. I feel the film is definitely worth seeing.