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Indie Movie Review – The Price We Pay

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There are some films which have an ending that is obvious from the first few minutes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though! For instance, I defy anyone to watch the first ten minutes of Strictly Ballroom and not be able to say how it will finish but that doesn’t stop it from having a permanent place in my all time favourite top ten. Other films are all about the last minute twist; step forward The Sixth Sense. The Price We Pay falls somewhere in-between. It starts off as one thing but then switches direction part way through.

The Price We Pay starts off with a couple arguing in a car which leads to the woman being abandoned at a petrol station. Spooky goings on occur until she gets shot with a crossbow and dragged out…cue opening credits. After those we see a pensive woman sitting outside a pawnshop. She knocks back a good slug of something and heads inside. She has a difficult meeting with the store manager but, just as things seem to going badly, a masked gang comes in and starts robbing the place. A-ha! It is a heist film!

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Where Do We Go From Here?

More than that, the getaway driver gets spooked and drives off. Then the pensive woman is taken hostage and has to drive the gang away. So we’re now settling into a failed heist/hostage film. But then, quelle catastrophe! The car breaks down out in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately they find a farmhouse not too far away. One of the gang picked up a gunshot wound and they use the, seemingly, deserted farmhouse to sort him out. Hoorah! They’re saved. Well, we’re not twenty five minutes in so you know that isn’t going to happen. 

From then to the end of the film, things take a decidedly darker tone. There are signs of “medical” procedures…or is it torture? Regardless there is a plethora of cutty, sharpy things but nothing in the way of anaesthesia. That’ll be why there are straps to hold everyone down on the operating tables I guess. Still, it should be safe seeing as how there’s no one here. Stabby, sharp blades are harmless in and of themselves. It is when someone nasty is waving them around that they become a problem!

No Idea, Wanna Find Out?

Anyway, we’re all settled in nicely and the big bad guy is identified. Surprisingly, it is not the always excellent Stephen Dorff. We’ve known he can carry off being the sinister villain from as far back as Blade in 1998. This time though, he is still on the bad side but he is the more mature, ex-military, voice of reason. The bad guy is Alex played by Emile Hirsch. Alex is deliciously evil, bordering on psychotic and played excellently by Mr Hirsch…I always wonder if saying things like that are a compliment or an insult! Anyway, you do worry for hostage Grace (Gigi Zumbado). Well, Alex is the bad guy until the family, who’s farmhouse it is, come home. 

That is when things turn decidedly runny. First up is mild mannered Danny (Tyler Sanders) but the real problems start when Granddad (Vernon Wells) and Jodi (Erika Ervin) turn up! Grandad is the surgical brain while Jodi is the muscle; standing at 2.03m (6’8”) in her socks she is a most imposing presence. And it is with their arrival that the real gore fest starts! The effects are very convincing, how people act after what they have had done to them is somewhat less so! Still, willing suspension of disbelief and all that. If you like gore filled action/horror/thrillers then The Price We Pay is for you.

Movie Grade: B


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