Movie Review: RWD

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RWD was directed by Matt Stuertz (who also handled the soundtrack), written by Matt Stuertz and Adam Hartley and stars Matt Stuertz and Adam Hartley (and some dog makes a guest appearance)

For a number of years I lived in Richmond, VA. I worked in a restaurant and I would get off late at night and when I was driving home I would cross over Broad St. (a major street in the city) right near the Richmond Ballet. There was a large African American prostitute who “worked” that corner. She LOVED me. I never spoke to her and certainly never partook of her services but she knew my car. My girlfriend (now my wife) would be in the passenger seat and this lovely “lady of the evening” would get all excited and start waving and shouting “HEY BABY! HOW ARE YOOOOUUUUU DOING?!” I always waved back as would my wife. I think she just liked the fact that someone treated her like a normal human being. I should probably mention that most of Richmond’s prostitutes at that time were apparently transvestites so “lovely lady” might not be the most apt description. I have no proof either way.

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At the time I was living in Richmond it was basically like a “Hipster Convention.” Kind of like a Southern version of Brooklyn today. Basically you could put out a cardboard box held up with a stick and a string attached, put a messenger bag, a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and a single-speed bicycle under there (it would need to be a large box), and you could have probably caught 10 hipsters at once. I am not a huge fan of hipsters. What can I say? Maybe it’s the “I knew about this [insert thing here] first” mentality. Well I knew about “RWD” first so there. You get it? See what I did there?

This is a found footage style film. I know that this type of film bothers a lot of people but I still think that there are some pretty cool films coming out of the sub-genre. “RWD” involves these two hipster characters who go out to investigate a supposed haunting in the woods for their ghost hunting show. Things get weird and there is a building that has some strange effects. I do not wish to spoil it by giving any more information but it is not a typical haunted house story. There are some cool ideas here for sure, but the film does not always play as well as it could.

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It obviously had a very low budget. Two guys did the whole thing. They both starred-in the film, they both wrote the film, one directed, one of them wrote the music and so forth. The credits for acting are the two guys…and a dog. Seriously. The dog’s name needed to be changed for the film apparently—maybe it is a witness re-location thing. No one else is in the film. I liked and definitely respect that aspect—a very, very strong DIY ethic here. The film appears to be the product of two dudes who seemingly made a movie entirely on their own, and within those constraints they actually produce a pretty decent film. Both Matt Stuertz and Adam Hartley are at the beginning of their respective careers and I see them continuing to develop with each future project. As I mentioned earlier, I think that the film and the concept itself could’ve been a bit more developed, but I think their next project(s) will likely be a stronger effort.

“RWD” is not likely to blow your mind, though you may end up a bit confused, but I guarantee it is better than most of what is available on the various digital streaming platforms. I would normally give this film 2 stars but they get 2.5 because of what they accomplished on their own. Currently available on VOD. – Dan MacNeil

Distributor: Osiris Entertainment

Run Time: 77 Minutes

Rating: Not Rated

 

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