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Raphael, a young executive on the verge of losing a multi-million dollar architectural deal with a large distribution company, suffers a sudden death in his family and has to return to his home town of Metsburgh. As Raphael returns to Metsburgh, he experiences a life changing event: witnessing a Grim Reaper taking a soul. This sighting results in Raphael having to explore his own conscience and the lengths he will go to get his own life back. But Death, has other plans for the naive young executive.
A Grim Becoming- 'Reaps' In the Benefits of Brilliance
Often I find that watching Independent Films is like Forrest Gump's proverbial box of chocolates, in that you never really know what you're going to get. I have been fortunate in finding some pleasant surprises, and when that occurs I praise them in reviews. I am inclined to publicly praise things I find remarkable, magical, wonderful but fear that when something really, really super-duper good comes along, the praise may fall flat if praise is usually what I give, so here, today, the fear is realized. For here, today, I am writing about 'A Grim Becoming', the new, absolute gem of a Film from Deftone Pictures Studios; that demonstrates the pure capacity for genius from Director Adam Steigert; that shows the depth and range of acting talent from Stars Michael Sciabarrasi and Brandon T. Williams; that combines the home-grown talent of the Buffalo, NY community melding with Independent-Film greats of Los Angeles in seamless manner; that heralds the little guy the underdog the little engine that could; that celebrates the spirit of Halloween with such entertaining spirit it can be celebrated every year at that time but could be played on my DVD player over and over again regardless of what time of year it is. Though I could spend a thousand words in absolute praise of this Film, it can be perfectly summed up in three words: IT'S THAT GOOD.
The main plot follows Raphael (Brandon T. Williams), a star Architect who is upended from everyday life, first following the untimely passing of his nephew and then witnessing the work of a Grim Reaper at the scene of an accident. Not having the time to confront death head-on in figurative manner, he actually confronts 'Death', of the four-horseman variety. Brilliantly portrayed by Michael Sciabarrasi, this character of 'Death' is at-once terrifying and cartoonish, dressed in Victorian tux-and-top hat with cigar ever-present, and calls himself "Magoo". Raphael learns that because he has seen a Grim Reaper at work, he must himself become one it's an unwritten rule that is, begrudgingly, his curse to bear or find a loophole around, and Magoo is there to make sure Raphael meets his new fate or face consequences even worse. Throughout Raphael's reluctant new assignment is a wonderful combination of laugh-out-loud zaniness, horrid deaths, creepy family members, asinine competitors, distractingly beautiful assistants, suicidal mourners, inept reapers, stoned archangels, fainting hotel clerks, horny seniors, enough blood to fill an ocean and a scene that will forever change your outlook on peanut butter. Add to that some visiting Stars of the Independent Horror-film genre that brilliantly play outside their comfort-zones, such as scream-queens Devanny Pinn and Jessica Cameron, legends Bill Oberst, Jr., Lynn Lowery and Melantha Blackthorne, and TV paranormalist Britt Griffith ('Ghost Hunters') to enhance the gifted local talent Deftone usually thrives in, and it all adds to what is truly a masterpiece. 'A Grim Becoming' also has the things an Adam R. Steigert Film is known for he gets above-and-beyond level performances from his Talent, combines horror with heart, has eight things going on at the same time but never feels that way, and exceeds whatever level of expectations you had. Yet here going in, the level of expectation was supreme, with a blend of people and plot-lines ubiquitous and convoluted ...from all walks of life and level of mood going in countless directions, but it all comes together perfectly, with a feel both horrifying and hilarious, and can rival a film made on the A list. Of all the Independent Films I had the pleasure of seeing, and even the Hollywood Movies I have ever had the pleasure to watch this here film, 'A Grim Becoming' moves to the very top of my list, and could indeed be my favorite film of all time. It gets 10 out of 10 from me.
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