Directed by Aik Karapetian
Distributed by Wide Management
The art of creating suspense and tension inside of a horror film certainly isn’t an easy feat to pull off – pacing is key, timing is essential, but the main thing to NEVER drop on the audience is the feeling that they’re left sleepwalking. In the case of Aik Karapetian’s The Man in the Orange Jacket, it’s time to pull the covers over your head… and I don’t mean in fear.
The movie begins with a group of seaport workers marching away from their job in an odd, despondent fashion, with a surreal yet beautiful visual of the surrounding area behind them. Maksim Lazarev is the focal piece in the photoplay, acting as the lone spokesman in a sort of revenge-styled film that will make some souls believe the activities contained within are of sane mind, and THAT is terrifying in itself.
The main antagonist (if the demented mind would see it that way) is Aris Rozentals as a overly affluent businessman who’s just sold the harbor in order to collect even more money underneath him, putting our main character (known only in the credits as Dan), along with a slew of workers, out of a job. The tycoon puts his head to pillow one night, next to his younger-than-young female bedmate, completely serene in the knowing that he’s pauperized hundreds of hard-working individuals. Enter Dan in a High Tension-like personalization: He breaks into the tycoon’s spatial palace in the middle of the night and slaughters the two in brutal fashion, all the while using implements from his work toolbox.
After committing the heinous murders in what seems like retribution for the magnate’s boardroom assault, Dan celebrates by literally assuming the dead man’s life – staying in his home, dressing in his clothes, and driving his car (talk about identitytheft!). The only unforeseen problem is that now Dan is having some “issues” with his new home: voices in the middle of the night, unexplained visitors, and even a doppleganger of himself that is attempting to kill him… or is it?
The safe bet is that Dan is suffering from PTSD after his nefarious transgressions, simply imagining each and every terrifying instance, but there remains a chance that there is something else at play here, and inside this particular home nothing is above suspicion. The way Karapetian shows off his movie is creepy in the fact that there is very little dialogue and at times even fewer actions – it’s the stillness that brings on the tension. At a generally short runtime of 71 minutes, some pieces of the film feel as if you’re sitting through a freakin’ miniseries however beautiful the scenic overviews of the palatial estate (along with the chaos contained inside) are.
I normally harp on the performances in any film, which in this case is hard to do with the lack of dialogue, but Lazarev does play a decent man who is pushed to horrifying deeds all in the name of unemployment. If you’re in the mood for a slow plodding, high tension (no pun intended) kind of quickie film, then by all means feel free to slip on this Orange Jacket.