2014 / Director. John V Soto.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I struggled with the first half of THE RECKONING. I found it dull and uninteresting. In fact it was like watching a dodgy Aussie version of NCIS... and then something happens and suddenly things become interesting. Everything that had previously felt arduous was significant all of a sudden. The film begins with a murder and an SD card found on the body. The card contains video footage of two runaway teenagers, one of which is terminally ill. While police sift through the footage back at the police station, two detectives simultaneously follow the video's trail as the details of the footage are fed to them. Step by step they find themselves hot on the trail of these two teens and racing against time to locate them, hoping that they haven't met with foul play. This story is actually damn good. I kept thinking that if it were in the hands of someone like David Fincher then it could have been exceptional. Sadly the filmmaking leaves a lot to be desired. The so called found footage is crap. The two teen performances are really stilted and borderline awful. The adult performances aren't too bad but nothing special and the cinematography is inconsistent. The camera always seems unsure whether it wants to be steady or hand-held. When it is steady it looks great but too much of the shaky bullshit interferes and I found myself disconnected from the story... what a shame because, as I mentioned, the story is great. It comes loaded with unexpected twists and revelations that are genuinely clever. All too often these types of thrillers become far-fetched in trying to keep to formula, but THE RECKONING's plot is very grounded. If an accomplished filmmaker were to take this film and remake it then that would be a great thing... but as it is, it's more like a quickly spin tv-movie.