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Featured DVD Review: Tin Can Man

May 10th, 2014

Tin Can Man - Buy from Amazon

Tin Can Man is an ultra-low-budget film from Ireland. It was made in 2007 for a cost of 10,000 Euros, or about $13,000. It recently came out on DVD here. Is it worth checking out? Or does the low budget limit its target audience?

The Movie

The film focuses on Peter, whom we meet as he is giving an expensive ring to his girlfriend. She turns him down, because she's seeing another man. He also works a terrible job and he's getting crap from his boss for not making sales goals. After getting two really bad pieces of news, we see Peter sitting in his apartment eating a banana when he hears a knock at the door. It's his neighbor, Dave, who claims to have had an accident and wants to use his phone. He asks to use the phone, and then asks to come inside to use the phone. Then asks to make sure it is okay. Then again asks to make sure he can use the phone. And then again.

After he makes his phone call, Dave again thanks Peter for letting him use his phone. And then Dave compliments Peter on his apartment and asks if he cooks. What he cooks. What other rooms are in the apartment. What books Peter reads. The questions just go on and on. Clearly there's something not quite right with Dave, but he's just a little peculiar, right?

Unfortunately, the answer to that is a spoiler. This is one of those films that you barely get into the movie before spoilers preclude talking about the plot. It is especially hard to review it without giving away details. It starts out difficult to watch, not because it is a bad movie or because of its subject matter. The first eight minutes or so is three different conversations Peter has, all of which are awkward. Really awkward. The conversation where his girlfriend dumped him, while telling him her new boyfriend is much better in bed, isn't as awkward as Peter trying to make a sale on the phone. The conversation with Dave starts out as awkward, but it quickly moves onto creepy, and then menacing. There is something clearly wrong with this situation and the acting and the directing draw you in nearly immediately. It's shot in black and white, in 4:3 aspect ratio, so right away something feels off. Much of the movie is tight closeups of one character with shadows across their face. There are so many shadows that backgrounds barely register. It sets the mood perfectly and the mood is what carries this film. If you are looking for a disturbing horror film, this is certainly one worth checking out.

The Extras

The only extra on the DVD is a three-minute featurette on moviegoers' reaction to the movie at the Dublin International Film Festival.

There are also no subtitles on the DVD. The audio is clear, for the most part, but there were a few times I had trouble understanding what was said. Subtitles would have really helped.

The Verdict

Tin Can Man is a great film if you are looking for a horror film that is built on mood and a powerhouse performance by a truly disturbing character. The DVD has nearly no extras, but fans of the genre will probably want to pick it up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Patrick O'Donnell, Michael Parle