Posted October 8, 2018 by Chris Hick in Film Reviews

Bad Samaritan (2018) DVD Review

Released by Signature Entertainment on DVD is Bad Samaritan (2018). One of the few things that sets it apart from other thrillers of a similar nature is the new villain in David Tennant. Tennant, a familiar face in the UK of course as the urbane ‘Doctor Who’ on BBC, one of the longest running Doctor’s. Other than appearing in the ABC Studio’s TV series ‘Jessica Jones’, this is Tennant’s launch into breaking into the US market. Yet, alongside a flawed hero in Irish charmer Robert Sheehan, this is a standard thriller flirting with torture porn horror (for want of a better term). The thriller element for the first part of the film works well and has plenty of suspense, but once it moves into gear with the showdown between Tennant and Sheehan’s characters it becomes a pastiche type thriller.

The film opens in a shot over the rooftops of Portland, Oregon, making for a somewhat interesting location. We are then introduced to Irish immigrant charmer, Sean Falco (Sheehan). Sean lives with his Mum and stepfather, works as a valet at a downtown Italian restaurant and has a sexy student girlfriend who respects Sean’s dream of being a professional photographer. Secretly though, Sean and his friend and co-worker Derek (Carlito Olivero) have a scam in which they take the cars of the restaurant customers and use their GPS to find their home and burgle them while they are eating. One customer who arrives is an arrogant S.O.B. who screeches up in his Maserati. Bingo. This looks like it might be a big haul. Sean takes the Maserati and arrives at the customer’s house, a modern swanky and sterile environment. There he finds a credit card, activates it and thinks this is enough. He finds a locked office, but inside discovers a beaten girl (Kerry Condon) strapped to a chair and the walls surrounded in black polythene. Worse still he finds a room with a gurney, splattered blood and tools. He can’t untie her but in time she warns him that when the lights come on he can access his CCTV remotely. Which of course happens when the customer leaves early. Derek tries to warn his friend who brings his car back just before it raises suspicion.

Sean is now determined to try and save the girl somehow. It’s not long before the anal Cale Erendreich (Tennant) starts to suspect that someone has broken in and begins to suspects the valets. After Sean spies on him, Erendreich believes he is smarter and begin his slow torturous revenge on the valet. He sets Sean up as a thief, causes his parents to lose their jobs, violently beats up Sean’s girlfriend and murders Derek. It turns out that of course Erendreich is a deeply disturbed trust fund baby with a dark past and has made a habit of torturing and murdering young women.

It begins well but up ends up as quite a schlocky thriller that recalls others that went before it. Sheehan’s character recalls bad boy turned hero in Shia LaBeouf in Disturbia (2007) in which a young man under house arrest suspects that his next door neighbour is a serial killer. Tennant is quite refreshing and sinister although as the film develops there is plenty of scenery chewing and towards the end when he goes into hiding into the wintry Oregon backwoods he dies his hair and starts to resemble Jim Carrrey making him less sinister. Credit has to be given to his American accent though. There are plenty of holes in the plot, little backstory to the kidnapped girl and some silly strands. For those who like a thriller though it is entertaining and funny with a couple of charismatic leads.

Chris Hick

Chris Hick