DANGEROUS TO KNOW (2020) reviews of psychological thriller

 

‘There’ll be no happily ever after.’

Dangerous to Know is a 2020 Canadian psychological thriller feature film about a troubled young woman recovering from a suicide attempt in a secluded cabin. However, when a series of unexplained and terrifying incidents occur, she realizes someone-or something-has a far darker future planned for her.

Written, directed by and starring David Simpson, the Post-Human Media production also stars Demelza Randall, Andrew Robert Wilson, James An and Bridget Graham.

Reviews:

“No film needs a constant score and quite frankly no horror film needs to be over three hours long. There simply isn’t enough story here to justify it and the acting abilities of the cast aren’t up the job. Hopefully, Simpson can learn from this experience but Dangerous to Know isn’t the mind-bending or profound film that it thinks it is.” Entertainment Focus

” …it is the dynamic of both Briget Graham and Andrew Robert Wilson as Bridget and Jordan respectively, that sizzles […] Dangerous to Know is an undertaking to watch considering its weighty runtime, but those that commit to the project will be rewarded with a compelling story featuring a tangled web of obsession, malice, revenge, and manipulation.” The Hollywood News

” …a 3-hour film that could have been vastly improved by being half of that length. While Simpson’s passion and hard work are more than admirable, it’s a real shame that more people weren’t involved in the creative process because there is some good stuff in there. It’s just weighed down by too much existential padding.” Horror DNA

“It feels at times as if the second half of the film is an extended PowerPoint lecture on How to Be Evil by a sociopath – brilliantly acted, but ultimately wearing – who tries to talk their opponents to death well before deploying any actual violence.  The long haul does get longer as the film moves into yet more complete changes of viewpoint and protagonist and location, but there’s a lot of unsettling stuff here…” The Kim Newman Web Site

“Long-running length films can be notable if the story requires it; Midsommar is one of my favorite movies ever, after all. However, Dangerous to Know does not always feel that it needed such an extended runtime, with some scenes seemingly going on for ages […] Nevertheless, Dangerous to Know is an exciting film and a massive passion project with none other than Mike Flanagan as a backer. One can only appreciate this directorial debut.” Movie Babble

“For an intimate psychothriller with a small cast and only a few settings, this is unusually long (three hours!) and rather talky, with one character in particular bragging and gloating ad nauseam in a manner that, while certainly establishing both the fibre and flaws of this person, becomes as repetitive as it is repellent – but even if the film could have survived, like one of its dramatis personae, relatively intact with some of its guts cut out, it is never boring, which is in itself a considerable achievement for anything of this duration.” Projected Figures

“There are indeed some twists and turns, some scenes when it is impossible to know who to trust, deception and manipulation that fits well with the noir thriller style, and encouraged me to stay patient with the slow pace. But when the ultimate baddie is revealed, they turn out to be so arrogant (almost in a “no, Mr. Bond” kind of way), bragging about superior intelligence, higher purpose, and so on that it all became a little too silly.” Ready Steady Cut!

“Adapting his own novel, one-man band Simpson shows great promise with his directorial skills. The discordant, synth score is also impressive and certainly complements the psychotic episodes, but has the unfortunate effect of rendering some of the dialogue hard to hear […] For such a long film, there’s a lot going on and, ultimately, it’s worth the ride if you may not get the conclusion you’d wish for.” Starburst

Release:

Dangerous to Know was shown at the 2020 virtual Arrow Video FrightFest on 22nd October 2020.

Festival blurb:

” …an epic journey employing the Zeigarnik effect, a psychological consequence that continually resets the viewer’s attention span by giving their minds new mysteries to ponder […] A fast-moving psychological thriller, filled to the brim with intelligent philosophy, existentialism, post-trauma family dynamics, parental responsibility, responsibilities between generations, and even the meaning of life itself.” FrightFest

Cast and characters:

David Simpson … Tom Douglas
Demelza Randall … Doctor Flannagan
Andrew Robert Wilson … Jordan
James An … Jun
Bridget Graham … Bridget Douglas
Hayley Gray … Danika Smith
Moishe Teichman … Sheriff
Samin Saadat … Sammy Douglas

Technical details:

183 minutes (!)

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