The group

The group
Original title:The group
Director:Will Higo
Running time:72 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
After an overdose, heroin addict Kara returns to the support group she abandoned for one last chance to make things right. But not everyone can forgive and forget... When a new member pulls out a gun and takes the group hostage, the group members soon find themselves in a fight for their lives. The rules have changed. He wants them to reveal the sins that brought them here and in return, if he feels they deserve his mercy, he will let them go. Through the cycle of confession and betrayal, the group begins to fracture. Can they overcome their differences long enough to escape?

Mulder's Review

It is interesting to see the plurality of themes addressed through the many films proposed in the Frihgtfest festival. The group, the first film written and directed by Will Higo, turns out to be a perfectly mastered thriller in eight closets that captures our attention without ever letting it go. It is an interesting approach to the study of guilt and drug addiction. By placing the action in a community center in which a group of drug addicts gather to try to resurface, things will quickly get worse.

Kara (Evangelina Burton) is a heroin addict who, after overdosing, decides to get out of her addiction and returns to the support group she abandoned. However, the other members of this group don't seem to be ready to forgive her and forget her mistakes and what they caused. Worse, things take a disturbing turn when someone shows up with a gun and takes the support group hostage. The different people in the group will have to reveal their sins to this intruder if they want to leave this place where the hostage taking is taking place alive. The armed individual will grant them mercy or not if they show true discernment and are ready to return to the right path. While a real tension palpable on the screen takes shape and strengthens, this united group will present real fractures and the members will be ready to all possible betrayals to stay alive.

If the film The Group works so perfectly, it is because it benefits from an excellent scenario in which it is impossible to predict the course of events. Far from looking like a play unfolding before our eyes, Will Higo's inventive and refined direction places the audience as a witness to what is unfolding before their eyes. The director places at the center of his film the notion of responsibility for one's actions both towards oneself and towards those around one. 

Once again, this film demonstrates the vitality of independent cinema, which is not constructed as a simple marketing product that can be manipulated as much as possible, but which seeks above all to treat a story with consistency. The absence of famous actors is a very good thing because it allows the story to unfold without any constraint and all the characters are likely to be killed. Certainly Will Higo has the makings of a great director and we can't wait for his next film. We can't advise you to discover this film.

The Group
Written and directed by Will Higo
Produced by Talia Burrows, Scott Martin, Jack Sheehan, Michael Thomas Slifkin 
Starring Jennifer Aries, Dylan Baldwin, Anwen Bull, Evangelina Burton, Stephen Corrall, Tom Coulston, Luke Dayhill, Nobuse Jnr, Mike Kelson, Alicia Novak, Ella Staton
Music by Dennis Tjiok
Cinematography : Andrew Litt
Edited by Ylva Garnert 
Running time : 72 minutes

Seen on august 31, 2022 (press screener)

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