Id, The (2016)
Starring Amanda Wyss, Patrick Peduto, Malcolm Matthews, Jamye Grant
Directed by Thommy Hutson
Meridith (Wyss) is a 40-something faded flower who never really grew up after her high school prom. Her rundown, girlish bedroom is filled with threadbare teddy bears, assorted dolls, and mementos from her high school days. A sports banner is tacked to the wall, her yearbook is on the shelf, and her washed out red taffeta dance dress is close at hand.
Meridith has been forced to put her life aside to care for her ailing daddy dearest (Peduto). He’s a cantankerous old coot, beset by tremors and a cough that won’t quit, sometimes wheelchair-bound, but never weak. He’s tough, but not strong. In fact, he’s the quintessential bully. Ordering his daughter around, preying on her low self-esteem to get his way – and to keep her from getting hers.
All Meridith wants is one night out with her old flame, Ted (Matthews). After 28 years, terrific Ted has resurfaced. He’s in town and wants to see her. He calls her old number, and lo and behold, it still works. That’s because while he’s moved on from high school, Meridith has been trapped in a state of suspended animation with her foul-mouthed father. Stuck at home, practically a prisoner in those dreary digs since her mother ran away and never looked back, Meridith is the sole focus of all her father’s rage and bitterness.
As her desires are thwarted, Meridith begins to realize there’s only one obstacle in her way: Dad. As her mental state goes from frayed to fragmented, the horror and suspense turns on. And boy, does Wyss turn it on! The A Nightmare on Elm Street alum hasn’t lost that edge (nor should she; the actress has continued to work regularly ever since then – though diehard horror-hounds may not have seen her lately). She walks the razor’s edge between vulnerability and villainy with equal aplomb.
Kudos to director Thommy Hutson for bringing out the best in the two leads – Peduto goes head to head with Wyss most admirably, and one can see the actors were well directed. Not once does either of them seem unclear as to who they are playing or what kind of movie they are in (as is sometimes the case in these no frills indies).
However, The Id isn’t perfect. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jamye Grant’s stilted performance as Tricia, the woman on the outside who sees what Meiedith is up to. Every time she’s onscreen, the tension comes to a grinding halt. Also, there is an over-reliance on flashbacks and fugue-state fantasy sequences that are fine to begin with but become repetitive over time.
Luckily, the movie is not overly long, and its lively editing style quickens the pace to the point of a gallop as the bloody climax comes to a close.
The Id is a thought-provoking psychological chiller that’s well worth a look… into the abyss!