At a glance:
Writer/director Zack Parker takes a miniscule budget and wrings a captivating story of a grieving young man who may find solace within a tightly knit circle of Goths
Our review (with spoilers):
There is no peace for the grieving Derik (Bo Barrett). His film-opening visit to a grave informs us that someone close to him has died. But we don’t know who or how close, since he chooses not to share this with anyone. He doesn’t even tell Jason (Ben Schmitt), an old school friend who he visits now because he doesn’t want to go home and has no one else to turn to. To Derik, Jason has changed so much since the two of them were close in high school. Ben now is a full-fledged Goth, having been influenced by his live-in Goth girlfriend, Veronica (Samantha Eileen DeTurk). Jason and Veronica are part of a very tight knit group of Goth friends who attend weird, dark parties where drugs and sex are exchanged. Derik is only partially accepted into these circles. Eventually, Derik’s lethargy and inability to deal with his grief causes conflict between he and Jason, and Derik moves out.
As Derik is about to board a bus to anywhere, fate intervenes; he crosses paths with Gina (Mia Moretti) a Goth girl who has taken a fancy with him. Derik moves in with Gina, and, again, is accepted into the group. This time, however, the extremes of the group’s practices cause Derik to reject them, which leads to disastrous consequences.
Quench is a quiet, thoughtful, slow-paced film, with many moments of silence. This is no Gilmore Girls patter; the characters think, and the story is intriguing enough that we don’t mind wondering, in those silences, what they are thinking about. Since the movie is classified as ‘horror’, horror fans looking for gore may be disappointed (this might account for the 3.9 of 10 rating on IMDB). Conversely, virtually all reviews of the film are overwhelmingly positive. The acting is occasionally amateurish, but Mia Moretti is very good. Bo Barrett proves that though it is difficult to play the role of an almost comatose grieving person without appearing truly wooden, it is not impossible. I’m looking forward to more from Zack Parker.
Other reviewers said:
"Usually when dealing with darker subjects, movies will take a wild turn into fantasy or horror, Mr. Parker keeps his movie firmly grounded in reality, and the horror of that is more than enough…"
- Brian Morton (Rogue Cinema)
"A chilly examination of decaying hope, Zack Parker’s Quench exemplifies the drive and spirit that embodies truly independent filmmaking."
- Collin Armstrong (Twitch)
"Quench" is a rich tapestry of sub-genres, moral questions, and undertones that ends as a great indie horror picture that works against being another typical horror entry."
- Felix Vasquez Jr. (Cinema Crazed)