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Browse

Paranoia.  It’s a killer.  Mix that with a buzzing city atmosphere and smoking hot jazz licks and you have a recipe for an intense thriller, which is EXACTLY what Browse is: a Neo-noirish film that sprinkles sex, sultry tunes, and suspicion as if it were salt on a bucket of popcorn.  

"a Neo-noirish film that sprinkles sex, sultry tunes, and suspicion as if it were salt on a bucket of popcorn."


And it works.  

Directed by Dementia’s Mike Testin (who also shot the film with solid cinematography) and written by Mario Carvalhal, Browse’s unsettling beginning, set to a steamy jazz number, is by design.  Expressive shots fill our eyes - all flickering in and out of focus - as a wide range of compositional elements are used to bring Roxy (Jocelin Donahue) into focus on the beach.  Her happiness hangs in the air.

But it is just for a split second, and then we are swept right off the beach and dropped right into Los Angeles.  One second later Richard (Lucas Haas from Widows, Inception) enters our consciousness, smoking a cigarette on a rooftop.  

And then we fade to black.  Something is wrong.  That much is clear.  {googleads}

Richard has lost Roxy - you know, the girl on the beach - to another man and he’s obsessed with what went wrong in their relationship, taking to stalking her online via Facebook.  Her happiness makes him more miserable.  Unfortunately, his professional life isn’t any better as he is asked to make redundant his only friend at the office.  Poor guy.

Richard needs a fresh start away from the cigarettes, the condoms, and the prostitutes.  What he stumbles upon is an absolute nightmare thanks to dabbling in the world of online dating and having his identity stolen.  Cue the longing trumpets and sultry saxes as an innocent flirtation via texts and messages turns into a paranoid game of cat-and-mouse.  

And we are just as confused as he is.  Browse

After the initial romance happens, Richard starts to spiral out of control.  And Haas, who knows this type of character well, gives a solid performance in his search for the truth.  Desperate for some sense of absolute clarity, Richard seeks to uncover who is trying to manipulate him.  With his identity in question, everything is forcing him to doubt the things he sees.

But why?  Who would possibly want him to go down in flames like this?  His investigation is futile and soon he’s trapped in a web of paranoia that threatens to destroy his thinning hold on reality.

Also starring Chloe Bridges (The Final Girls) and Sarah Rafferty (Suits), Browse takes blackmail and bitching jazz sets - thanks to composer Makaya McCraven - to a new level of paranoia.  The movie debuts on VOD July 7th 2020 thanks to FilmRise.

4/5 stars

Browse

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor:
Available on Blu-ray

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Browse

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
85 mins
Director
: Mike Testin
Writer:
Mario Carvalhal
Cast:
Jocelin Donahue, Sarah Rafferty, Lukas Haas
Genre
: Horror | Thriller
Tagline:
Careful What You Search For.
Memorable Movie Quote: "She's inquiring about filing a restraining order against you. You know anything about that?"
Distributor:
Filmrise
Official Site:
Release Date: July 7, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: What Richard wanted was a fresh start, what he got was a nightmare. BROWSE tells the story of Richard Coleman (Lukas Haas), an introverted man who becomes convinced that his identity has been hacked after dabbling in online dating. Desperate for clarity, Richard seeks to uncover the truth of who is trying to manipulate him and why, but the more he struggles with his futile investigation, the further he’s cast into an insurmountable web of paranoia that threatens to destroy his thinning hold on reality.

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