On April 15th, 2011, film-makers Jack Hamill and Brenda Hill were hired to make a documentary about serial killer Edward Payne. 3 weeks later Jack Hamill’s partially decomposed remains were found in an abandoned field outside the small town of Happy Valley, Oregon. An investigation into the crime led the police to a farmhouse on the edge of town. What they found there would shake the tight knit community to the core.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one of the greatest perks of doing this work is being contacted by other Horror fans to ask me to review their films. Most of the films I get asked to take a look at are usually releases that pass way under the radar and feature an array of actors and actresses you’ve never heard of. Despite all this they still have the ability to blow you away, which brings me to “15 – An Exploration Of Human Violence”.
Now I don’t know about you but I’ve always had a fascination with serial killers, well more of a morbid curiosity. I’ve always wanted to pick at their brains and see what makes them tick, well with “15: An Exploration Of Human Violence” I get to do just that whilst in the safety of my own home.
A bit of advice, remember the name Jason Hawkins, Why? Well not only did he act, write, direct, produce, edit, cast and do the effects make up himself, he did it amazingly. His work is still a little rough around the edges but honestly that’s the way I like it, most of today’s films, even in the indie scene, seem to polished and neat. It’s very welcoming to have that VHS feel back on my screen.
I will admit that I’ve never heard of any of the cast members but that’s always a big selling point for me, you have no expectations. If anything your expectations are very low because you have no previous work to go off, I’ve seen some amazing performances from the indie scene and this film is now added to that list, the entire cast put in a heck of a performance.
The film is like a cross between “Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer” and “Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon” which is no bad thing. Every film-maker has there inspirations and Jason Hawkins wears his on his sleeve without entering the dreaded ‘rip off’ territory and maintains his own originality, I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future.
“15: An Exploration Of Human Violence” is no high budgeted blockbuster by any means but that’s necessarily a bad thing. The low budget nature of the film increases the tensity for the viewer and also a sense of realism, which is quite disturbing. If you can find it then make sure you watch it!