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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Stephen King Simmons

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

Like MOMENTO meets TETSUO, THE PARKER SESSIONS is a film noir that blends horror and mystery to the point that it feels like pure pulp fiction, a violent piece at that.

A troubled young woman, Parker (Rachell Sean), with a disturbing past goes to see a counselor, Robert (Danny James), about her night terrors. The film, broken down into four increasingly disturbing but mysterious acts, Simmons' film creates, and blugeons a relationship with the pair to a disturbing and graphic conclusion.

Shot in black and white it's easy to see how THE PARKER SESSIONS blends into other noir films and while hiding a modest budget, also creates a comic book feel to events. Not talking Marvel or DC but real gritty graphic series to the vein of THE BUTTON MAN and SIN CITY. Each act ending on a string of more mystery and delving into the driving force behind Parkers night terrors.

Both Sean and James have a magnetic chemistry, one that is detached yet somehow intertwined with their own secrets at bay. At points the film becomes a dance between the two as they delicately tiptoe around each other but bring each other in with a smooth arm clenching at the hips. But what starts as a simple two step, evolves into excitingly visceral charlston and concludes in a vicious tango that leaves lives on the line.

While the leads do the talking, the film speaks more in moments of silence, when Simmons' score takes stage. The melody breathing calmly and then ripping into obscure sounds that replicate actions but feel too distant to be real. The harsh flashbacks to happier times and dream sequences all carried by a key ear for how this chaos sounds. The chaotic nature flowing from left to right confusing and often out voluming the voices within creating a sense of harrowing foreshadowing.

THE PARKER SESSIONS has a deeper, more relative message but to spill would be to spoil and as such we won't talk about that here however it's one that has a lasting and poignant reminder to real monsters.

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