Some years before the events of this film, the three women at the centre were held captive by an abuser when only young girls. Though they have since been released, each has found it difficult in their own way to try and find direction and peace in life. Norma is trying to work as a teacher of young kids, but her unusual ideas on discipline, along with her drinking, mean this proves hard work. JJ is a medical student with good academic grades but too close a connection with the blood and guts side of surgery. Meanwhile Sasha drinks heavily too and her messy work life brings no stability. When each of them receives video footage of their ordeal sent to their phones, Sasha decides to take action and gets JJ and Norma together. When they arrive at the house to try and find and steal the footage of the three of them, things quickly take a turn for the worse, with their erstwhile captor showing up at the wrong time. This leads to a spiral of violence that no one will come out of unscathed.
You expect limitations with low budget films, but Psychos has the kind of plot holes that are so large they should really only exist out in deep space, sucking in light and gravity. It’s often clumsy and strangely off-kilter, not on purpose for atmosphere, but rather because the entire project hangs like an ill-fitting borrowed suit on a teenager going to his first interview. It's full, at least initially, of seemingly endless scenes of the three women doing nothing or doing very little, which ominous sound effects and portentous music don’t make any more interesting, and then of ‘twists’ that make little narrative sense. Trying to then explain them away via the old ‘one of them is mad’ plot line doesn’t convince.
It aims for the status of psychological thriller but is not deep enough in either character or motivation and certainly it doesn’t thrill. In fact, the short running time of 80 minutes drags by interminably, so much so that you fear your nightmare as a viewer, like the nightmare for the characters on screen, might never end. If we’re trying to be balanced and find some positives, we can say the three leads do try with the slight material they’re given. Sadly, it just isn’t very good and certainly doesn’t demand your time or attention. It does instil a sense of gratitude in a viewer however, when it eventually ends you’re glad it’s over. Perhaps next time around will produce a better result for those behind Psychos, and for that we wish them well, but this film should be skipped.
PSYCHOS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: SANDY CHUKHADARIAN / STARRING: ANGELICA CHITWOOD, DENIELE RAMOS CLOUTIER, MELISSA ELENA JONES / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (USA); UK RELEASE DATE TBA