Films Reviews

Edinburgh International Film Festival: Strange but True

Strange but True is just plain strange (I bet nobody will make that joke).

Strange but True is just plain strange (I bet nobody will make that joke). Everything about this so-called thriller starring Love, Simon’s Nick Robinson verges on parody. Multiple times during the press screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival there were fits of laughter from the audience when there should be (I assume) gasps of shock and horror. Unfortunately, for a solid 90 minutes it plays out like a cheaply made Christian movie (something that a fellow reviewer pointed out) or a horrible, but super serious, Lifetime made for TV movie.

What’s even about though? Well, I managed to pick up some of it. An ex-girlfriend of a dead brother appears five years after the death claiming that she is pregnant and that a psychic told her it is hers. Pretty mental, right? The film doesn’t slow down on this level of nonsense either it just goes from cheaply handled shock to cheaply handled shock. Many involve poor line delivery or just poor physical acting in general. Brian Cox is in this film. I don’t think he wants to be in this film but somewhere down the road the producers gave him a lot of money and he decided to not care anymore. You can tell he doesn’t care for the entirety of the third act where he stomps around a woods with a gun, supposedly looking intimidating but instead coming across like someones grandad ran off into the woods while having a senior moment. The same really goes for Greg Kinnear who is also randomly in this movie, he does absolutely nothing other than driving a car for a wee bit and shout.

That is the main thing I don’t understand about this film. There are so many excruciatingly funny moments, some of which are meant to be so many aren’t. It makes you think what went on the set. Did director Rowan Athale not ask anyone to try a second take? They just got it and moved on quickly. It quickly became apparent to me why CBS films shelved this film for such a long time. It was shot in the summer of 2017 and is now only just receiving some sort of release here in Edinburgh for the festival. The beauty of this though is that Disney’s Aladdin shows up for a couple of scenes before he was famous and if I did my math right this was before Love, Simon for Nick Robinson too so at least they’ll both survive this travesty with their bigger and better films.

The film is not releasable, it is amazing to me that they even bothered. Sure it can be funny but not at a full paying price (it probably won’t be that way for long). Please, I urge you to not watch it. Just don’t waste your time. The only possible way is if you invent a drinking game, have some buddies with you to have a laugh and then maybe you’ll enjoy what this film has to offer. Currently, though… it’s a big nope.

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