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|Index||17 reviews in total|
I saw Driftwood Saturday at the Fango Weekend of Horrors. At first I
thought Ullman would just pull off some low-end Disney acting, but he
was actually very good. You can see a smoldering in his eyes that I
didn't expect him to be able to emote at all. Also, he gets to use his
real name for the credits in this movie, Raviv. The poster still shows
My expectations were low for Diamond Dallas Page, but he was good. Oddly, I thought the scenes in which Page didn't speak a lot were better than the ones in which he did. But if he can keep getting better than you never know.
Driftwood is NOTHING like 2001 Maniacs. I tried not to think about Maniacs when I went in to see this movie. I didn't need to bother. I wouldn't think Driftwood was by the same director as Maniacs if I had gone in blind. The movies are vastly different in approach and feel.
I have some fun facts for this movie I am afraid to put in here because they might mildly spoil the movie. I do suggest seeing Driftwood. A good ghost story with multi-layered social commentary. The acting is much better than I think most people expect from a B film so don't let that be a deterrent.
After the death of his older rocker brother Dean of overdose, the rebel
sixteen year-old David Forrester (Raviv Ullman) becomes bitter and
obsessed with death, while grieving his brother. His parents decide to
send him to Driftwood, a camp leaded by Captain Kennedy (Diamond Dallas
Page) that promises to transform dysfunctional boys in men. David is
lodged in the Level 1 and discovers that Captain uses brutality to
control and modify the attitudes of the teenagers; further, that he
uses the camp with the intention to make money in real state business.
When David is haunted by the spirit of the Captain's nephew Jonathan
(Connor Ross), who died in the swamp nearby Driftwood, he discovers a
dark secret about his mates in Level 1 and the brutal Captain Kennedy.
"Driftwood" has a promising beginning, and the reformatory seems to be a teen version of "Prison Break" with corruption, sadism and brutality. However the plot is so absurd and ridiculous that, associated to the terrible acting, makes this movie completely worthless. Some reviews that give high ratings seem to be fake comments and published only to promote this weak movie and lure the readers. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "Driftwood, o Reformatório" ("Driftwood, The Reformatory")
After just viewing the screener of DRIFTWOOD with a couple of mates, I was very impressed with this little known thriller. It had a pretty good storyline, a troubled teen, David, riddled over the guilt over his brothers death, he actually becomes obsessed with death. His misguided parents send him to DRIFTWOOD, an "Attitude adjustment camp for troubled youths" which is run by a sadistic Captain, played superbly by Diamond Dallas Page, and his brutal young henchmen. Once inside the camp he becomes haunted by a spirit named Jonathan, a former inmate who met a mysterious end, David has to unravel the mystery in order to free himself from the sadistic camp. Great acting from a bunch of relatively unknowns, and a great script make this one of the great finds of 2007, believe me if you like to sit and get stuck into a film, not expecting blood and guts, but a good suspense/mystery, this is a film you must watch. It reminded me a lot like STIR OF ECHOES. Strongly recommended 8/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Driftwood is Tim Sullivan's directorial follow-up to 2001 Maniacs; and the films couldn't be more different. Maniacs is a hoot of a horror film. Driftwood is a bit of a bore. It's not a terrible movie, it's just not exactly horror. The film takes place within the walls of Driftwood, a prison for troubled young men that masquerades as a reform school. The ghost of a dead "inmate" starts to visit David, the new arrival, and tries to get him to solve the mystery of his death. It favors drama a lot more than traditional scares. The ghost only pops up a few times to remind you what type of movie this is. If you took the ghost out, you might think you were watching an updated version of Sean Penn's Bad Boys. The "bad boys" of this film all do surprisingly well. The young actors were all cast well and the standout is the lead. He has that Gyllenhaal/Donnie Darko thing going on. Also of note, Diamond Dallas Page, while not the greatest actor, still has tremendous charisma as the "heel." He plays The Captain, the film's lead villain who runs Driftwood. I hope DDP continues to hone his craft as I'd like to see him in more things. All in all, Driftwood is a bit forgettable. On the other hand, it shows Tim Sullivan is trying to do different things within our genre.
I really don't understand why people bashed this movie. Perhaps it
wasn't a huge budget and not a huge amount of special effects. I think
over all it was actually a decent movie. Sure it didn't have huge
actors that were great but I feel the acting was very good for what
they had. Now maybe it could have been better made. Some have
criticized it for being unoriginal or formulaic but what is really?
Most movies in general are based off another concept that has been done
many times before.
Not every movie has to be a blockbuster for it to be a good movie in my opinion. Some moments were a little dull and were unbelievable but it wasn't completely unrealistic or unreasonable to just stretch your imagination some. After all its just a movie.
When I watched "Driftwood" on the chiller channel... I promise you
it... actually shocked from the very beginning... 'til the end! It was
full of chills and thrills... I trust guys...I know what talking
about... it actually scared at times here and there, everywhere... Call
me weird(or not) horror films to my best interest...knowledge "DON'T
SCARE ME AT ALL!" Anyway, for my own opinion , I thought this movie was
pretty good (decent) with all those visual and special effects the crew
put up were without a doubt awesome... even though, most of you
wouldn't agree more or at all! It runs smooth, pretty fast, at times
edgy,like any horror/ horror/thriller does. It also struck or actually
shocked me (and/or again not) was towards middle to the end of the film
(Driftwood) when David Forrester(Ricky Ullman)learns and find real
truth was behind unexplained and "maybe, just maybe incidental" murder
and a ghost of Jonathan, that kept haunting David in nightmarish forms
of visions and preliminary dreams throughout middle to almost the end
of Driftwood and the kid whom Captain Kennedy( Diamond Dallas Page)
killed just for pleasure...? Or actually probably for a reason?
Evidently and without a doubt or question not. He did it 'cause he
wanted to get rid of him...SOMEHOW (AND...HE DID)...and then again he
paid for what he's done by seeing the ghost Jonathan in David... Give
it a try, take a look, you might like it!
Grade B-, B, or B+ the most is A- STARS 10 out of 10
I was a little apprehensive when I first saw the preview for this movie
but it turned out to worth watching. David Forrester (Ricky Ullman)
becomes obsessed with death after the over dose death of his rock star
brother. His parents decide he needs to be a Driftwood a facility that
is supposed to keep him out of Jail and straighten him out. In
Driftwood He meets the usual cast of Characters The gangsta, the Ladies
man, etc. He also meets Johnathan, a ghost who has a secret that could
save them all.
The acting is a questionable at times but is due to many characters being one-dimensional stock characters. We learn during the movie David does not have a good relationship with his parent, and has unresolved guilt over his brothers death. We also learn Noah (Jeremy Lelliot) is here for being gay something the camp is supposed to cure you of. We also learn Noah and Jonathan were friends and he also wants his murder solved. It has a complete ending unlike some horror movies.
I wish they had spent more time on the dynamics of the relationships, and fewer 2 one-dimensional character otherwise it is worth watching. I think Ricky Ullman's acting is good, though his innocent look makes it difficult to see him as the brooding troubled teen (Remember this is Phil of the future from Disney). Diamond Dallas Paige gives a good performance as the greedy, sadistic warden of the facility, and Jeremy Lelliot is a bit underutilized as Noah.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First let me compliment Tim Sullivan for making one of my favorite
horror films, 2001 Maniacs, the film was funny and well Robert Englund,
need we say anymore really? So after seeing Maniacs my next question
was how would Tim follow the film up, the answer is Driftwood.
I'm not going to go into the story, thats what the plot outlines for, however what i will say is this is a really nice original horror film that stands out and brings a real smile to my face. Tim has crafted a film which is really about teen angst, how teens deal with that and how they're pressured by the people they are asked to respect, adults.
Ricky Ulman is brilliant, make no mistake he plays his role to the bitter end and never lets his grip on the material go. He brings a real gritty attitude that plays so well it almost feels like your watching real life, he really is that good.
Diamod Dallas Page also deserves a mention for playing the bad guy to the baddest of bad. He comes across as nice at first glance and then once he's crossed, he's total bad ass! Tim Sullivan has once again done it for me, he has written and directed a beautiful film that in my opinion should be seen by as many people as possible. The film plays out with such nice pace, a real good set of characters and a great amount of suspense created by our brilliant director! All i can say Tim is well done and make sure to keep making one of these types of film every so often because they really work! Overall there was nothing i really had a problem with, the acting, the writing, the directing, all of them were on par and certainly had an appeal where i couldn't be drawn away from the screen.
Please whatever you do, go and watch this film, its such a fantastic effort i couldn't help but in some way feel better for seeing it, it brought a real smile to my face and it takes some doing believe me.
So all i'll say is if your a lover of film, independent film then go and watch this, because the passion and the talent are all in abundance in this film. That is for sure!
Driftwood is probably the first indie horror movie for teens! The
pacing of the film, coupled with the rock music found in each scene,
will remind you of a theatrical release with a 12- to 18-year-old
target market in mind. That would stick if there weren't a whole lot of
cursing. Does that make it PG-13? When we discussed the film with
director Tim Sullivan, he did drop the title The Outsiders from time to
time, comparing his crew of boys to the now classic film cast. The
comparison is definitely fair as the Driftwood crew deliver stellar
performances that kept me in the moment by raising the level of reality
every time they uttered a word. It's challenging enough to come up with
a group of characters who are different enough to be individuals yet
bond, however slightly, over a common situation. That is just step one.
Next you have to cast people that can act for it to all be believable.
Driftwood is one part Holes, one part Cool Hand Luke, with a little dash of Stir of Echoes thrown in. The characters are engaging enough to make the time fly by. Tim Sullivan presents a story of desperation wrapped around a study in fear, whether that fear is of a physically imposing authority figure or a supernatural being. The walls of Driftwood hold more than one dark secret, but revealing them could mean the death to all who know. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Be sure to watch out for Driftwood when it comes to your town during its limited release and support well written, well executed independent movies! We need a lot more like them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was really disappointed that I didn't like this movie that much.From everything I read about it and by the trailer I thought it would be way better.It's a shame the budget was so low because I think it is an important story to tell.I also thought it was a great idea using the supernatural element for this movie but like another person said,it came across too much like b-movie acting.The only actor's I enjoyed the most who had any depth and emotion were "Raviv Ullman" and "Connor Ross" who played David and Jonathan. The film just seemed really rushed and it seemed like a lot was missing.After watching a few of the deleted scenes and alternate ending I decided that they should have included a few of those scenes and gone with the alternate ending instead.I liked the 1st deleted scene called "driftwood infomercial" but especially liked the scene called "dark daddy" because it showed a darker side to the captain by explaining his relationship with his daughter instead of just portraying her as a stupid whore.The alternate ending was more realistic and satisfying instead of just abruptly ending the movie because it doesn't seem finished.I think it was important for the viewer to have some kind of idea of what will become of the boys when they leave after that hellish ordeal.There could have been at least one more scene with David and his brother since they were so close.At the end of the alternate ending where the boys discuss where they are gonna go,Noah asks David where he is gonna go and he replies "i'm gonna go home",but he should have said "i'm gonna hit the road" instead just like what he told his brother,and because he and his parents don't see eye to eye and they were the idiots who put him in that jail like attitude adjustment institution. Another important part of the story that was left out was a scene that showed the ghost of Jonathan finally being put to rest. I think this movie would have worked better if it had been all horror and suspense and no comedy.It just would have been more believable and more respectful to kids that are stuck in or have survived those demented places to show it as all horror.If there ever is a director's cut then please at least include the "dark daddy" scene.That scene also has a cool shot of the photo and ghostly image of Jonathan that seems to disturb the captain.And for Chrissake's include the alternate ending for closure!
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