Safehouse (DVD)

Despite having a budget that would be dwarfed by any major Hollywood project, Safehouse is able to showcase every strength that is present, be it the cast, production, or scenery present. The film starts out focusing in on an island paradise that houses a fishing/tourist business headed up by Emily (Carolina Hoyos; Lethal Force, Golden Empire). To ensure that everything goes off without a hitch, Cooper (played here by Johnny Alonso (Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill), has provided eir assistance. Everything is set topsy-turvy soon after, as a dead body washes up in a boat.

Luckily for Emily, Cooper has had a tremendous amount of training through a previous (but still active) engagement with the FBI. With each passing moment, it seems as if more and more in the way of bodies start showing up. When mobster Moffa (Robert Miano, Confessions of a Pit Fighter, The System Within) is introduced to viewers, the story’s level of suspense is ratcheted up considerably. This is because Moffa, owner of a tremendously well-guarded house (the Safehouse described in the title of the film), is embezzling considerable amounts of money from the Federal Reserve to fill out eir own pockets.

The different motives and desires of the main characters (a crew that is further boosted by the inclusion of hacker Teaberry (Fear of Clowns 2, Change is Coming) are laid out quite clearly by director John Poague (Bigfoot at Holler Creek Canyon); there is a chiaroscuro present here that is not broached. While the plot of having to stop the “bad guy” from absconding with the loot has been something done to death since the advent of the film, I feel that there is a skillful blend of dark humor, suspense, and quality to Safehouse that makes this into one of the better sleeper hits of the year.

Rating: 8.2/10

Safehouse (DVD) / 2009 MTI / 80 Minutes / http://www.mtivideo.com

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