A Grim Becoming (2014)
Directed by: Adam R. Steigert
Written by: Adam R. Steigert, Christopher Brechtel, Janeen Avery, Mark Mendola, T.R. Smith
Starring: Bill Oberst Jr, Brandyn T. Williams, Devanny Pinn, Jessica Cameron, Melantha Blackthorne, Michael Sciabarrasi
A GRIM BECOMING (2014)
Directed by Adam R. Steigert
After his nephew dies, Raphael returns to his hometown to attend the funeral but on the way there, he accidentally hits a homeless man whilst driving the car. Whilst checking to see if the man is okay, Raphael is shocked to witness the appearance of the grim reaper, who’s come to claim the homeless man’s soul. Having seen the act, the grim reaper is destroyed, his powers – a curse – transferred to Raphael who now must reap souls on behalf of death or face dire consequences. Will the unwilling reaper Raphael find a way of becoming fully human again?
Comedy horror drama A GRIM BECOMING from director Adam R. Steigert is a quirky tale of how one man’s perception on life and those around him changes after he’s given the power over life and death. This curse draws parallels with Raphael’s life prior to the car accident, a time when Raphael was yearning for power and control in the boardroom to secure a deal over his workmate, Wayne. Since acquiring the new role of reaper, Raphael finds himself struggling to keep a lid on things and stay out of harms way whilst finding himself at the centre of incidents, whether he likes it or not.
Along Raphael’s journey of resistance to being a reaper, he meets a variety of colourful characters including touchy-feely sister Meryl (Melantha Blackthorne) and her husband Phill (Bill Oberst Jr). Blackthorne and Oberst Jr. are one of the main highlights of the movie, their chemistry setting the scene alight and also making a jar of peanut butter into an object of erotica. Unfortunately, not everyone is as welcoming to Raphael. His other sister and her rude, brattish daughter October (Aryn Fitzgerald) make their short time together living hell. The situation is exacerbated by the sudden arrival of Mr Magoo, also known as Death, who has a habit of popping up when he’s not wanted. The terrific Michael Sciabarrasi stars as Magoo and pretty much steals every scene he’s in with his sophisticated yet decaying appearance and upperclass manners. “Oh my!” Magoo also becomes the source of many of the laughs, though there is a wicked dark edge to the man too, which you should expect given his job description. Cult indie film star Jessica Cameron also makes an appearance in the film as the glamourous Life, whilst Lynn Lowry stars as one half of hilarious randy couple, Mother, to a heavily prosthetic-faced, Father (Patrick Mallette).
Whilst A GRIM BECOMING is more of a comedy than a horror, it does contain some dark scenes, mostly starring Devanny Pinn. It’s this combination that works well to create the story of Raphael’s despair which comes to a dramatic ending in the final scenes.
As a straight narrative, A GRIM BECOMING doesn’t work that well, but as a viewing experience brought together with comedy and horror moments, it’s an interesting movie to watch and explore. Like art, it’s a bit out there at times, and it’s disjointed approach might not be to all tastes, but there’s certainly highlights within the mix.