The Truth


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

A well-to-do couple arrives home after an evening out. Shortly after they bed down for the night, a home intruder has knocked them out and tied them up. The burglar ransacks the loot but also has a history with both the husband and the wife, and is determined to taunt them with mind games. As it turns out, both the husband and the wife are living under assumed names because of shady past lives, and neither of them is really aware of the other's secrets. The burglar's connection to each of them is based on separate circumstances. In the course of a single evening, the three people engage in a psychological power struggle, and their true loyalties are shrouded from the audience as long as possible.

Perhaps that sounds implausible. How could the burglar somehow be connected to both of their former identities based on separate circumstances decades apart? The screenwriter understood the nature of that incongruity and incorporated it into the script deftly. You'll just have to trust me when I say that it's not as illogical as it sounds, but I can't tell you why without revealing the film's secrets, and those mysteries are the reason to keep watching.

Don't expect any pyrotechnics here. The budget must have been tiny. This film is essentially a three character stage play which is set inside a house, and the story is told in something very close to real time. The director does nothing to bring the action outside of that time and place except for some brief flashbacks which are occasionally inserted to illuminate some of the characters' hidden motivations. No matter where the action takes place, the set always seems to be under-decorated. I kept wondering, for example, why such evidently prosperous people were living in a house full of empty shelves. The payroll expenses must also have been modest because the biggest names in the film are John Heard and a lesser Baldwin. However large the payroll budget may have been, it must have been completely exhausted by the salaries of those main players, because some of the minor roles are filled by people who don't even seem to be actors at all. (If you watch the film, keep a special eye on the "rookie cop." That dude is the next Olivier!)

This is Ryan Barton-Grimley's first effort as the director of a feature film, and it is also his first screenplay to be produced. That means the film has a rookie director, a rookie writer, a claustrophobic premise, and a micro-budget. Such a recipe could have resulted in a disastrous meal, but it does not. While the screenplay reminds me of plenty of earlier films, the direction is quite effective at masking the limited budget. An ubiquitous sense of tension, generated by some manic editing and a spooky sound track, works well enough to make the characters' actions and secrets seem more interesting and original than they actually are. Moreover, the author/director was able to weave a complicated web while keeping the narrative comprehensible. The film's assets were sufficient to keep me interested in the outcome, and to keep my hand off the fast forward button.

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No theatrical release.


The nudity was supplied by the breasts of an actress named Erin Cardillo,. It consists of two dark sex scenes with two different actors.


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


A watchable little genre film.