By Chris Hammond
Fin a criminal on the run, wanted for the murder of his boss. While on the lamb he gets cornered by police and is involved in accidentally shooting an officer. Desperate, He breaks into the home of a high-class escort, only to discover that this escort has some different tricks up her sleeves. VAL, (short for “Valefar”) is a disguised demon who offers to make all Fin’s problems disappear, but only if he agrees to follow her rules.
In Val’s world there are no accidents, and as Fin meets her other “customers”, he learns that Val had her sites on him all along, and it isn’t easy to escape Val’s dungeon.
Director Aaron Fradkin’s feature-length horror/comedy Val (2021) spotlights the talented performances by stars Misha Reeves as Val is a high-class escort whose home is “chosen” by Fin (Zachary Mooren), a dangerous criminal on the run from the law. Fin encounters one of Val’s “customers” and a scuffle ensures. One man is left dead but just doesn’t seem to want to remain that way. Things start to take a supernatural turn and Fin must try to find a way out of Val’s grasp. There are twists and turns that viewers won’t see coming (to give these away will ruin the fun).
Reeves is an absolute joy to watch on screen, the way in which she has fun with Val is charming. This role is made for her alone. Mooren plays the criminal conflicted by his actions to a tee. His anguish and discomfort ooze over to the audience. Mooren and Reeves have significant chemistry together. The screen lights up each time these two interact during the film. There is a solid supporting cast as well that includes Sufe Bradshaw (a by-the-book police officer) and Kyle Howard (her comic-laid-back humorous partner). Victoria Fratz (co-writer on the film) plays Fin’s girlfriend Jenny. Finally, Erik Griffen (Workaholics) plays Freddy with comic precision, especially as the story goes on.
Director Fradkin, paces the film exceptionally, expanding the tale and doling out pieces of the puzzles at the right moments. His use of humor matches well within the story and he hits all the right marks with the different emotions expressed throughout the film. Cinematographer Keelan Carothers created a wonderful world to delve into a lose one’s self.
Val is a film that draws the viewer in and has a compelling (sometimes comedic) tale to tell. It’s a movie with heart and soul.
Available in select Theaters on October 1st, On Demand on October 5th + Blu-Ray on November 2nd.