Where Sleeping Dogs Lie was an enjoyable thriller with an offbeat sensibility that I really enjoyed and would like to see more of in the indie film world. The grittiness and genre flair was refreshing for a film coming out of Sacramento, CA. It focuses on bad people, worse people, and situations that just go downhill- perfect recipe for an interesting crime movie. It almost feels like a throwback from the late 90s, early 00s American Independent scene.
The story had an interesting structure, there were some great turns of phrase in the dialogue, and the three leads- Janzen, Miller, and Koponen- put in some strong performances. After a great early reveal, the midsection does slow down a bit for my taste. But it picks up a great energy in the third act, leading up to the finish.
The production values often showed the seams of the low budget, but that didn't bother me because the story was good. And there is something pure and exciting about seeing a group of filmmakers' raw early work before they have too many resources at their disposal. It shows the truth of what they have to offer, and this film is no exception. So make sure you catch writer/director Josh Pierson and the rest of his team early!
It is inspiring to see movies like this get made, especially when they are made outside of Hollywood completely. Looking forward to what this filmmaking team does next!
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