Art of Obsession (2017) [Blood In The Snow 2017]

A novelist has a hard time getting his muse back after a tragedy and his latest book’s failure. As he tries to write again, he finds a new muse through extreme measures.

Written by Ryan M. Andrews and Chris Cull with the former directing as well, the Art of Obsession takes something that could have been a small infatuation with a woman in danger, the need to save and turns it into an unhealthy obsession that is dangerous for all involved. The story is interesting and has interesting developments while some of them are a bit less so making the film uneven and with a few predictable plot points. The film does however do a very good job of showing a victim who won’t give up on herself, on her own salvation as an opposite to her captor who has given up on his good side almost completely for the appeal of the next hit, the next success, the next accolade. The dichotomy of these characters leads to an interesting watch as the viewer sees them evolve in each their own way, influenced by each other and each of their needs.

The cast here is led by actor Ry Barrett who does good work, but the real star of the film is Winny Clarke who gives a performance that is mild at first and as the film advances and she is the center of Ry’s character’s attention, she becomes stronger and stronger, giving a performance that is captivating and touching all at once. Her performance is the centerpiece of the film whether she is the lead or not. Her acting gives the film strength and emotional impact, something a lesser actress would have failed at doing with the number of scenes that she gets compared with the lead. The most of rest of the cast is also talented and shows they can act, but Clarke is the one that deserves the accolades and kudos here. She’s fantastic and makes this whole film hers.

The film cinematography by Michael Jari Davidson creates a universe inside of the lead’s house. It creates separate little worlds for each character with a big part of the film being spent in the attic where the pressure and tension is built by the story but also by how it is show in that small space. The way the film shows the spaces with less and less of it being shown in most scenes creates a claustrophobic effect and helps add to the tension and stress for the victim of the obsession and the viewer who identifies with her fairly quickly.

Art of Obsession is an interesting study in what makes people tick, how far would one go to get their next fix, their next hit, to feel that high of creating and being themselves again. The way this is developed leads to a cautionary tale as well as a suspense film that works on most fronts. The end is a definite telling point where the film makes sure to make its message or what the filmmaker wanted to come across clearer.

Blood In The Snow runs November 23rd to November 26th, 2017.