Tyler Cathey’s 5ive opens on a sweaty, obese man forcing himself on a young woman in a dingy basement. After he lectures her on what it means to be a survivor and gleefully reminds her that he’s far from finished with her body, he gets dressed for work…in his priest collar.
Played by Lee Armstrong, the priest is a horrific man, grotesque in appearance and deplorable in his actions. His victim, listed only as “Woman” (played by Clisty Trent) is a mysterious presence, an attractive blond whose braces add an extra element of eerie youth. As she works on an escape plan, her tormentor gives a door-to-door Mormon (played by writer/director Cathey) some dark analysis into his own faith before heading off to his parish to hypocritically speak about sin.
To go into any more detail would lead into spoiler territory, something I’m hesitant to do on a film of this length. At 35 minutes long, 5ive uses its time wisely to construct a compelling narrative. The resolution–gory, violent, and allegorical–doesn’t pull any major twists, but it feels worth its weight in gruesome and artistic imagery.
Cathey’s visuals are quite impressive, with grainy coloring making the priest’s basement a true hell. He also plays with perspective in unique ways, switching point of view to the shaky or confident with skill. Though the picture is sometimes a little dark, it usually suits the onscreen action letting the audience see exactly what they need to. With the exception of the too-obviously-edited final lines, 5ive’s sound design is also strong, from the juicy popping of an eyeball gouge to the haunting choice in background music.
Where 5ive falters is in some of its dialogue, which, when not consisting mostly of characters cursing at each other, comes off a bit pedantic. Armstrong’s priest prefers to spout his life philosophy whenever there’s another ear close by, something that makes it hard to really listen to his beliefs when they’re delivered with such writerly precision. Perhaps in a full-length film, Cathey could find more organic ways to work his themes into the story rather than relying on drawn out speeches.
5ive is visually interesting film that shows promise for Tyler Cathey’s ability with a camera. Though the story is told a little too heavy handedly, it contains some impressive craftsmanship that works as an alternate take on the rape-revenge genre, with an intriguing religious angle driving much of the story.
For more information about how Tyler Cathey, visit his Facebook page at Facebook.com/TylerCathey and YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/TCat17.
The trailer for 5ive can be seen at imdb at www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi4025288217. If you would like to contact Mr. Cathey, you can email him directly at TylerCathey@hotmail.com.