Hello everyone, Kevin here with Film Fervor bringing you another Independent film review. Today we will be discussing Director\Writer Terrell Lamont’s 2016 feature length film, Hush Money, starring Joshua Ray and Kennedy Waite.
Hush Money centers around Doug (Joshua Ray) a high school Art teacher who was recently laid off and risked losing everything. In a desperate attempt to save his quality of life and his marriage he takes out a loan with a loan shark and gambles it away. To pay off his debt he kidnaps the young daughter of the Baseball player who’s missed catch costs him his bet. Doug and the young woman Kennedy (Kennedy Waite) share a series of misadventures in this cerebral suspense film that leaves you feeling for the Kidnapper’s plight and the strange relationship the forms between them.
For many of the Independent films I review they are generally short stories with sometimes major glaring technical flaws due to either poor production values or simply outdated equipment that can jar you out of the experience. Hush Money on the other hand looks, feels and sounds like it came out of one of the big studios in Hollywood. The cinematography of Hush Money is a treat to the eyes with proper camera angles, crystal clear images and sweeping scroll work to set up the scenes.
The Audio work for Hush Money also lives up to the already impeccable standards of Terrell Lamont who is famous already for his work in Music Videos. Grithouse productions shows off their skills with very well dubbed sound that links perfectly with the actor’s performances as well of the over all use of the tense music and ambient sounds that help paint the picture of a real world situation.
Speaking of the Actor’s performances Joshua Ray’s character Doug is portrayed as a sensitive man who is desperate to save his family and his life. Despite the fact that he kidnaps a sixteen year old girl you are always coming down on his side of the argument. This is not only from the wonderful writing but the sheer power of Joshua’s performance.
Most child actors I have found have been either over the top or so muted to be forgettable this however is not the case for Kennedy Waite who despite her young age has already a fairly decent list of accomplishments under her belt and is completely enjoyable to watch act against her older Co Star.
This is the point in the review where I would normally point out the glaring flaws or annoyances about the film and I always try to be fair and objective in my criticisms however after re-watching the film three times I couldn’t really find anything to critique except one small audio drop that lasts about two seconds and never shows up again.
Hush Money is a prefect mix of wit, suspense and drama that I do not hesitate one moment to recommend to anyone who enjoys slightly darker toned movies. While there are brief scenes of action where this film really takes place is the hearts and minds of the two main characters and their growth over the course of the movie. All of that said just be warned that if you have a soul and a heart it will likely be deeply wounded by the end of the film. I give Hush Money a rating I said I would never give…5 out of 5 stars.
Justin’s Notes: I’m extremely pleased with this movie and I’ve been waiting on it for a while now, since I first spoke to Terrell on the podcast last year. You should absolutely check out his production company (https://grithousefilms.com/).
Terrell is a self-proclaimed “overly ambitious filmmaker” but given his level of skill, eye for detail, and willingness to push the limits, I would rather call him a serious professional with a hell of a future ahead of him. 5/5 is absolutely warranted.