Charismata (2017) Review

rsz_charis1Charismata (2017)

Written & Directed by Andy Collier & Toor Mian

Starring: Sarah Beck Mather, Andonis Anthony, Jamie Satterthwaite, David J. Peel, Ethan Chapples, Johnny Vivash.

What’s it all about?

When a ritualistic serial killer strikes the streets of London a young detective finds herself struggling with her sanity, questioning what’s real and what isn’t.

Is it good?

This was a very nice surprise. With smart direction, an engaging story and a solid cast ‘Charismata’ holds the attention until the end. From the off we meet detectives Smith (Andonis Anthony) and Faraway (Sarah Rebecca Mather) on their way to a gruesome murder scene. Soon they find themselves on the hunt for a serial killer, joined by slightly bumbling duo Perkins and Lawrence (David J. Peel & Ethan Chapples). They make for a very likeable team and, if anything, we never see enough of them all.

rsz_charis2The team’s investigation leads them to Michael Sweet (Jamie Satterthwaite) a charismatic, smooth talking and cocky businessman. He’s a prime suspect, but they have no evidence and despite doubt being cast over his guilt, with other suspects popping up such as security boss Tony Dewire, a slightly wired Johnny Vivash putting in a fun performance, and Ross Mullan as Doug, a shady salesman, Faraway finds she cannot let it go, becoming more and more obsessed with the dubious Sweet. Her sense of reality starts to blur and the film undergoes a change in tone from a straight forward serial killer thriller to a study of a tormented mind. It’s not an uncomfortable change of tone, although it loses the nice interplay between the investigation team, laced with some decent humour, and leaves us with a confident and emotional performance from Mather.

With her world crumbling, Faraway’s name is never more appropriate. As the story whirls to its conclusion it’s never clear how far it will push itself and there were some genuine surprises making it a satisfying journey. It leaves a number of questions behind, but that may be part of Collier and Mian’s master plan. They have put together an entertaining low budgeter here, one which I really enjoyed.

rsz_charis3The cast put in great shifts, Andonis Anthony’s ‘Smith’ is smug, but has an affable charm, which is balanced nicely in his performance.  Mather connects well with the audience and there is a real sense of pain and anguish in her struggles. As for Jamie Satterthwaite as the prime suspect, well, he looks like he’s having the time of his life as he fills his performance with glee and menace. He is conceited and arrogant, perhaps representing the ‘one percenters’ of the real world. Sweet makes for a good villain in a film that deserves some attention to come it’s way.
Keep an eye out for it!

3.5/5