Insane Like Me? Review

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Director: Chip Joslin

Writers: Britt Bankhead, Chip Joslin

Stars: Britt Bankhead, Eric Roberts, Grace Patterson

Insane Like Me? is a 2024 supernatural thriller that delves into the harrowing journey of Jake Morgan, a combat veteran portrayed by Britt Bankhead, who returns home only to be ensnared in a nightmarish scenario. The film, directed by Chip Joslin, weaves a tale of mystery, horror, and a quest for vindication that spans over nine years.

The movie opens with Jake’s homecoming, which quickly spirals into chaos when his girlfriend, Samantha Davis, played by Grace Patterson, disappears amidst a vampire attack at his welcome back party. The subsequent events lead to Jake’s wrongful conviction and his struggle within the confines of a mental asylum. Upon his release, Jake is driven by a relentless desire to uncover the truth and exact revenge on the coven of vampires responsible for his plight.

The premise of Insane Like Me? is intriguing, promising a fresh take on the vampire genre. It hints at a blend of psychological thriller and supernatural horror, reminiscent of cult classics that toy with the audience’s perception of reality. However, the execution falls short of its potential. The film’s narrative is straightforward, leaving little room for the ambiguity that could have enriched the viewing experience.

Performance-wise, Bankhead delivers a compelling portrayal of Jake, capturing the essence of a man tormented by his past and desperate for closure. Eric Roberts, as Sheriff Davis, brings a seasoned presence to the screen, though his character’s depth is hindered by the script’s limitations. The supporting cast, including Samantha Reddy and Jack Maxwell, provide adequate performances, but the characters lack the development needed to evoke a stronger emotional connection with the audience.

Visually, Insane Like Me? offers a dark and atmospheric setting that aligns well with its theme. The cinematography adeptly captures the eerie and claustrophobic ambiance of Jake’s world, both during his time at the asylum and his subsequent quest for revenge. The special effects, while not groundbreaking, are sufficient to convey the horror elements without detracting from the film’s overall tone.

One of the film’s notable shortcomings is its action sequences. The vampire attacks, intended to be the climactic moments, come across as choreographed and lack the visceral impact necessary for a horror thriller. This, coupled with the underwhelming character arcs, diminishes the film’s ability to fully engage the viewer.

The soundtrack, however, deserves praise. It effectively underscores the film’s suspenseful moments and complements the dark narrative. The score is one of the few elements that consistently maintain the tension throughout the movie.

In terms of thematic exploration, Insane Like Me? touches upon the psychological trauma of war veterans and the stigmatization of mental health issues. These themes are woven into the fabric of the story, offering a commentary on societal perceptions and the struggles of reintegrating into civilian life after experiencing the horrors of combat. While these aspects are not deeply explored, they add a layer of complexity to Jake’s character and his interactions with the world around him.

The film’s climax attempts to deliver a twist that challenges the viewer’s perception of Jake’s reliability as a narrator. However, the revelation is predictable and lacks the punch that could have made it a memorable moment. The resolution feels rushed, leaving several questions unanswered and character motivations unclear.

In conclusion, Insane Like Me? is a film with a promising concept that fails to capitalize on its potential. The performances are solid, and the atmosphere is fittingly ominous, but the lack of character depth and the straightforward narrative prevent it from being a standout entry in the vampire genre. It’s a movie that could have benefited from more nuanced storytelling and stronger character development.

While Insane Like Me? doesn’t redefine vampire movies, it offers enough intrigue and suspense to warrant a watch, especially for fans of the genre looking for a blend of horror and mystery. The film may not leave a lasting impression, but it serves as a decent addition to the supernatural thriller category.

Rating: 6/10