Seth and Jonah are twins born with a dangerous ability, They can influence people’s minds & make them see things that aren’t there. Things start to spiral out of their control as their classmates end up dying in twisted and bizarre ways. The police suspect them. But, jealousy begins to divide them and soon they can no longer trust each other. Leading up to a horrific battle against themselves.
The “After Dark originals” series of films has seen it’s up’s (“Dread”) & it’s downs (mostly everything else they’ve produced). And much to my chagrin, The Black Saint has witnessed most if not all of them. Such is the nature of my job. But every so often, I come across a diamond in the rough..something worth my time & yours. This “diamond” that I’ve just finished watching is called “Seconds Apart” and while it’s hardly perfect…it’s really good.
“Seconds Apart” tells the story of Seth & Jonah, twin brothers who have a very unique ability. They can read your mind & induce you to see & do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. They then videotape the (usually horrid) results to try & get some kind of reaction. They seem to be incapable of emotion or fear so they try to force themselves to elicit these feelings by forcing other people to do terrible things to themselves or to others. The film begins with a card game between some members of the football team tossing about the usual bromides you might hear young adults say to each other when the twins suddenly appear in the room with their video camera. Next thing you know, the card game turns into a lethal game of Russian roulette in which all of them kill themselves for the twins project. And it’s all on film.
Orlando Jones plays Det. Lampkin, who is assigned to investigate the apparent suicides. Lampkin is a troubled soul as well. He lost his wife in a fire & bears the facial scars from attempting to rescue her. When I saw Jones face pop up on the screen my first reaction was a grunt of dissatisfaction. I know him only as a comedian who bugs his eyes out of his head a lot. I don’t think he’s particularly funny either. But I’ll tell you what, he proved to me that he can pull off dramatic roles with juicy aplomb. He is great in this film & proved that he has a few more tricks under his hat. He should seriously consider more serious roles in the future, he has skills that a lot of people would like to see.
The twins are played by Gary & Edmund Entin. I never heard of them before but once again I was pleasantly surprised by their acting. Both of them are devilishly handsome & severely creepy looking at the same time. They do as all evil twins in movies do, dress alike, sleep in the same bed, dote on their parents & most importantly keep to themselves. They have no friends & they don’t need them because they have each other and are more than happy with that. They also have “The Project”, which is trying to elicit some kind of emotional reaction from them by creating havoc amongst their fellow students & certain adults as well. One of the few issues I had with the film was the fact that Det. Lampkin sort of zeroes in on the twins not long after the Russian roulette suicides. There really isn’t any real reason given for this either, at least as far as I could see. But once he decides that they are persons of interest…he’s all over them.
And although he’s made up his mind that they are the culprits, he can’t prove it. But eventually a fly gets into the ointment & her name is Eve (Samantha Droke). A very pretty student that introduces herself to Jonah & though he tries to rebuff her, she starts to work her way into his mind…& his heart. This of course does not sit well with Seth, who wants to continue with their “Project” & use her as a victim as well. Eventually Seth betrays his brother by sleeping with Eve & pretending he is Jonah. Once Jonah finds out about his brother’s subterfuge, he attacks him and the foundation of their “Project” begins to crumble. All the while, Lampkin is getting closer to proving that they are the ones he is looking for. It all ends up pretty much the way I thought it would, in a house ablaze & innocents trapped inside it while the brothers continue their fight.
“Seconds Apart” has elements of “Dead Ringers”, “Village Of The Damned” & even a bit of “The Bad Seed”. All good movies to draw ideas from & the makers of this movie did their homework. It’s a well written, well acted & importantly…a good looking movie also. I’ve never heard of director Antonio Negret before but I would love to see more of his work. He shows he has a steady directorial hand & obviously knew what he wanted. A name to look out for in the future. Something else I liked about this movie is that they cast actual twins in it & not one actor performing two roles. I know it can be done rather seamlessly now but in my opinion it’s always better to see real twins performing the parts & not one actor & some fancy SFX. The Entin brothers are nearly identical but their characters are distinctive. This isn’t readily evident but it does start to bleed through as the film continues and both of them excel, especially when they begin to experience differences of opinions.
Although there is some blood/gore in the film that’s not what this movie is really about. The best part of this is that Negret knows that the gore is not paramount to make “Seconds Apart” a creepy movie. He uses it sparingly but effectively proving a little restraint never really hurts if you’ve got a good script/actors. In actuality the film is more of a drama with horrific overtones than an out & out horror film. But it succeeds as both. It’s a fascinating, engrossing film that will stay with you for a while after it’s over. The Black Saint is giving “Seconds Apart” 3 1/2 shrouds for being a surprisingly good & efficient little film that should be seen by everyone who’s reading this review. You will be pleasantly surprised I think.