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BRYAN LOVES YOU
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Seth Landau

Starring:
Seth Landau
Candy Stanton
Tiffany Shepis

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
In a small Arizona town, a therapist finds himself in the middle of a cult who seem to be everywhere. In an effort to find out more about the religion, him and two of his friends try to find out all about those who love Bryan. Do you?
Is it good movie?

There is an empty room with table and chairs set up as if a meeting were about to take place. When Tony Todd walks in and tells the viewer about what happened in a small Arizona town he is openly horrified and shocked by what he has seen. And what he saw is the recordings made partially by a therapist named Jonathan (Seth Landau) who finds himself drawn into a world of paranoia. When he gets too close to a group of religious zealots who worshipped Bryan, a young innocent murdered by the devil. What begins as an almost homage to The Blair Witch Project soon turns into a viseral and creepy parable on what happens when single thought process rules. Part Blair Witch and part Invasion of the Body Snatchers, all done on a considerably low budget.

Yet it works very well. As Jonathan gets closer to those that follow Bryan we begin to realize that the paranoia of those touched by Bryan is very real. What Mr. Landau does as a director, which takes a side step away from Blair Witch, is use footage recovered from camcorders and "security cameras" by using clever placement. This places the viewer above the action giving us the sense of Jonathan falling deeper and deeper into those who wear the mask. And when I mean mask, it is a white face with black streaks streaked across it. It is used for religious ceremonies and a few other moments. What follows is a man who is drawn to find out the mystery of their worshipping and how those around him begin to truly "love" Bryan.

One of the most notable surprises with BLY are the wealth of cameos including Tiffany Shepis who gives a strong performance. She is quite different from how you may have seen her before. We also have Tony Todd, George Wendt as a paranoid patient that talks to dolls, and a few other notables including Brinke Stevens, Daniel Roebuck and the man behind Troma, Lloyd Kaufman. This all makes for a haunting little thriller that felt off-center and fairly convincing. Yes, it will be hard to show this in it's complete form to someone and convince them it is totally real, especially if they have ever watched anything like it before.

There were a couple times I really had to suspend disbelief as to why they would still be holding the camera and film what is going on. But that is a minor complaint because for a movie with no gore and a slightly skewed version of horror, the originality and good performances rise above it's budget. Credit goes to Seth Landau for one hell of a juggling act. He is the director, writer and cast himself as the lead character. And for the most part, it all works. His performance is very believable even if a couple of his actions are not. And you can't beat creep factor when a young teenage girl whispers, "Bryan loves you" to a non-believer. Do you love Bryan?
Video / Audio
The Extras
Last Call
What could have been a ultra low-budget rip off, ends up being a creepy little picture about paranoia and what your neighbors may be doing while you sleep. Bryan Loves You with all its camcorder and security camera images with full names bleeped out to protect the innocent, works as a nightmare with shades of reality. The performances are strong and the cameos are fun, especially for all you genre lovers out there. Seth Landau has created a very striking yet disturbing feature that seemed to have bits and pieces of other classics including shades of A Clockwork Orange. Yet it still feels fresh and inventive. If you know what's good for you… you'd better show the love to Bryan.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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