31 Days of Horror: “The Chair”



Title: The Chair
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Posted October 4, 2016 by

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We continue our “31 Days of Horror”, with a movie that I personally have been waiting to review, for quite some time. “The Chair” was the first film project I ever contributed to, on Kickstarter, back in 2014. Based on the graphic novel, of the same name, from Alterna Comics, the film comes out just in time for Halloween, this year, so I thought now would be a good time to watch my backer’s Blu-ray and review it.

The plot summary, on IMDB, reads as follows: An innocent man on death row witnesses savage killings at the hands of the prison’s sadistic Warden. To survive, he must match the brutality in the prison and confront his own horrifying past. That is the basic premise of the film, but there are so many more layers than that. The story of Richard Sullivan (Timothy Muskatell), a death row inmate who was convicted of the rape and murder of multiple children is just the outer shell of the film. This story also deals with traumatic childhood abuse, descent into madness, and a prison that is so bleak, with a darkness that is so all-encompassing, that it drives even good men to evil.

the-chair-2Director Chad Ferrin and DP Christian Janss do an amazing job, bringing Peter Simeti’s graphic novel to life. The darkness, the shadows, and the brutal violence of the prison all take hold on the viewer, to the point where, when there is a second of daylight in a scene, you find yourself grasping for the reprieve it offers. Muskatell, Bill Oberst Jr., and the late, great Roddy Piper all give good performances and Naomi Grossman is wonderfully sadistic as Sullivan’s mother. The flashback sequences, of Richard’s childhood, are some of the most effective, and Grossman is a huge part of that.

I didn’t want to give too much of the story away, because I recommend any fans of brutal, punch-in-the-gut, indie horror and I think you should go in as blind as possible (but if you get the chance, read Simeti’s graphic novel!). I will say that this movie is not an easy watch. It pulls zero punches, and will challenge you to not look away at times. Like I said, though, if you are a fan of dark, gritty horror you should add “The Chair” to your Halloween to watch list. It is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray at https://www.tugg.com/titles/the-chair .





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