The Horror Zine Review
A Film by Edward Romero
and Blank Page Entertainment
Director: Edward E. Romero
A Film by Edward Romero
Review by C. Dennis Moore
Sometimes you see a movie that’s so good, it’s almost beyond your skill set to properly praise it. And the movie I want to praise is Butterfly.
Butterfly begins when horror director Nick Cole wakes up in what looks like the shipping department of a small clothing factory, tied to a chair, his first thought is “Am I being Punk’d?” But petite blonde Laney Darrow soon puts an end to that idea. No, Laney is far from joking. What she wants is Nick’s professional opinion on her unfinished project, a film titled Snuphette.
Laney shows Nick the first chapter of the movie, in which she picks up a man in a country bar, goes back to his place, drugs him, then murders him. All of which she has documented on film.
The film’s ok, Nick says. Nothing special. The effects were good. Oh, those weren’t effects, Laney tells Nick. That dude is dead.
This is when Nick starts to take notice. Laney’s film continues, documenting her escapades, all the while trying to get Nick’s honest critique. She needs him to help her finish the movie, after all.
As their time together draws to a close and as Nick finally begins to understand the real difference between movies and real life, his past comes back to bite him in the ass. Turns out he’s got a few revelations of his own for Laney, which are a few things about the movie business she would never have learned without him.
While the question of morals will come up during the viewing of Butterfly, it’s important to remember that, in this case, there is no right and wrong. When you watch the film, you will realize that both parties are honestly justified in their actions, which in the end makes it impossible to root against any particular character. But by this point, you’ve lost all sense of self and have been sucked completely into the world of the movie. Now that’s a great film.
My immediate reaction upon finishing Edward Romero’s Butterfly was to email the director with a simple note which read merely:
And awesome it is. Watching an indie film can be a gamble, especially when it’s a horror movie. God, so many horror fans out there think all you need is a camera, a few bodies, and some fake blood and you’ve got yourself a horror movie. Not so. Too often the finer details are overlooked. Like maybe a story.
But Butterfly’s story is at once thought-provoking, entertaining and, in the end, very touching. In fact, by the time we reach the end, Romero has done such a masterful job of revealing the story layer by layer, we don’t even realize just how complex and moving a story we’ve been absorbing.
And the acting is superb. Director Romero didn’t just grab a few friends from their parents’ basements and put them in front of the camera. Butterfly’s two leads, Mandi Kreisher and Jay Laisne perfectly embodied their roles. In the opening scene, Kreisher knew just when to hold back and when to pounce. This was simply the most naturalistic acting performance for this type of character I’ve ever seen and I totally bought it. It was tension-filled and completely believable.
Even Laisne, who did absolutely nothing the entire movie but sit, tied to a chair, sold the hell out of that part. He took what could have been played as a simple, jaded narcissistic Hollywood-type and instead made the character human. Again, the most natural portrayal of this type of character I’ve ever seen. These two in a scene together make it easy to forget you’re watching two actors; their performances are so genuine that their roles become almost palpable.
Butterfly is the type of movie you can watch over and over, long after you’ve got the plot and much of the dialogue memorized, simply because the actors make it feel so real.
And Romero’s direction is another plus, because his different storytelling methods are employed with use of the different cameras as the plot unfolds, both in the warehouse and through Laney’s movie. The camera shots all come together in the end to form one solid whole. In lesser hands, this method might have been overdone and ruined the entire effect. But Romero pulls it off in an exciting and believable way. I’m usually hard to please, but after watching Butterfly, I want to see every Edward Romero movie, because he’s made me a fan for life.
Personally, I don’t see how enough positive things could ever be said about Butterfly. I was nervous at first, because I went into this film totally expecting nothing but a mild feeling of disappointment in the end. Instead I came away from it with such a feeling of WOW that I think I’m just a little dazed by it--and a full day after seeing the movie, I’m still thinking about it. It’s that good.Butterfly has it all. Itis well-written, perfectly-acted, and it has a tight, polished production. Butterfly is a great film from start to finish and the only criticism I can think of is that I simply didn’t want it to end. Yes, it’s that good. See Butterfly for yourself and then you will understand why I am raving about it.
See the movie here:
About the Filmmaker
Edward E. Romero was born and raised in Michigan where he graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s in English. After college he served in the U.S. Army for several years, including combat deployment to Kosovo. Following his stint with the military, Edward spent time in Europe performing as a singer/songwriter.
In 2003 he moved to Los Angeles to attend the UCLA Professional Screenwriting Program. While attending UCLA his feature script LULLABY won the PSP award. Since graduating from the Professional Program, Edward has had three feature films produced from his scripts and several optioned. He was also the co-writer of the award winning feature Ashes directed by Elias Matar. In 2010 he made his directorial debut with the feature film BUTTERFLY.
About the Reviewer
C. Dennis Moore
C. Dennis Moore lives in St. Joseph, Missouri. He’s been writing just about forever with over sixty stories and novellas published, plus a collection of his short stories called Terrible Thrills. Recent and upcoming publications include the Vile Things anthology from Comet Press and his novella Epoch Winter will be published by Drollerie Press.