Stanley Merse has murder constantly on his mind. A grungy true crime novelist, he finds himself increasingly plagued with nightmares and violent fantasies about his work, in particular the subject of his latest novel, Harry Jenson. In an attempt to reclaim his sanity, Stan goes on a remote journey deep in the New Zealand forest, with a group of other mysterious trampers. But when he wakes up on the first morning to find one of his tramping party dead, Stanley finds himself caught up in a real life scenario that is far too reminiscent of one of his own plot lines. With blood on his hands, and his delusional nightmares out of control, Stanley is faced with the very real possibility that this story may in fact be reality, one which he now has to try and keep secret. Shot almost entirely against the stunning backdrop of New Zealand's native rain forests, I'm Not Harry Jenson is a thought provoking murder mystery that crescendos to a finale full of surprise and intrigue. Written by
Classy piece, unfortunately lacking X-factor, but overall an excellent polished piece of work
I enjoyed this film immensely and believe that as a first film effort it's pretty outstanding. The script was tight, casting generally excellent, although the character of Marrisa felt a little under developed. Cinematography was great, perfect choice of colour tones and gritty edges. Very effective editing and some cunning use of flash forward and backwards at crisis points. I was locked into the 'it could be anyone' for a healthy length of time, and didn't pick up on the final twist until right at the end, which was great. The closing sequence was perhaps a little wordy, could have been minimised or stylised rather than presented as a whole new scene, it did seem to make the film drag a bit at the end. It also could have been cut by about 15 minutes overall without losing important tension building footage. Unfortunately, I believe it lacks the requisite X factor which could have taken this creepy and sophisticated who done it to cult status. None the less, it is a highly polished, evolved piece of work that bodes well for the future of this writer/director. I felt I got my money's worth and will definitely keep an eye out for further work.
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