dangerous know


Writer/director/composer/actor David Simpson’s first feature is an audacious one, and a true commitment from filmmaker and viewer seeing that it is three hours long. For those with the buttock muscles strong enough to take it, however, there’s plenty to take in.

Presented in separate parts, each skewing the viewpoint for the audience, it tells the story of a severely mentally ill Bridget (Bridget Graham), who is obsessed with fellow college kid Jordan (Andrew Robert Wilson). We meet him when he’s dropping off her stuff after breaking up with her. His mate, Jun (James An), is his emotional support (“Don’t be a pussy!”) but things take a turn for the worse and her threat of committing suicide proves true. Fortunately, Jordan manages to get the police to her in time. In part two, Bridget is being sent by her brother, Tom (director Simpson) to spend time in a remote cabin to see if she can get Jordan out of her system and prove she can take her meds and be responsible. It’s the only way the school will let her back and her brother won’t cut her out of any inheritance. It’s from there the film takes a major turn for the sinister, details of which be major spoilers we won’t reveal.

Adapting his own novel, one-man band Simpson shows great promise with his directorial skills. The discordant, synth score is also impressive and certainly complements the psychotic episodes, but has the unfortunate effect of rendering some of the dialogue hard to hear. A problem when the majority – and an important aspect – of the film is talking. The interchanges range from self-aware Scream-like banter of the two friends in part one (these too are carefully crafted and not just throwaway lines) to some self-absorbed, psychotically narcissistic god complex rants later on. For the most part, the exchanges are deep and philosophical, with musings on morality and humanity, which can get a little too heavy.

For such a long film, there’s a lot going on and, ultimately, it’s worth the ride if you may not get the conclusion you’d wish for. A bit like life, really.