I first met writer/director Jack Bryan at the Tallgrass Film Festival during a showing of Yojimbo. I ended up seeing his film "The Living" when it premiered that weekend. I was excited to see it, Jack seemed like a cool guy and I love Fran Kranz, but I had no idea I was in for such a treat. I'm not really sure if treat is the right word to use, this film is a lot of things, but it might be a little too dark to be considered a treat. The performances, writing, direction, and production design are all flawless. The story follows Teddy, an alcoholic that wakes up one morning after blacking out to discover that he had beat his wife. Fran Kranz plays as Teddy and gives the best performance of his career. Cast as the comedic relief in Cabin in the Woods and Dollhouse, it was refreshing to see him playing a serious role. Somehow, he's able to make a character that you're inclined to hate from the start lovable. While his brother in law is on a quest to hire a hit-man to kill him, Teddy is doing everything he can to make things up to his wife. Chris Mulkey plays as the hit-man and does an excellent job at being horrifying. Killing is something that comes casually to him. The rest of the cast put in excellent performances as well. If the movie comes to your area, it's more than worth the price of admission.
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