Bad Folks (2021)

In a deserted bad, a small group of people is set to meet up with a mysterious investor when things go very much sideways leading to a violent confrontation.

Written by Gerald Crum and directed by Michael Crum, this low budget indie is one that shows what this creative team can get done on a small budget, during a tough period for filmmakers, in one location. The film is clearly built around having a small cast and a single location and it makes it work. It’s a bit like a violent theater play that keeps to mostly one room in a bar and shows people slowly going down the deep end of their possibilities while waiting for something to happen and trying to make that very same thing happen. The film takes these people and builds them into character who almost all know each. However, some of the characters seem a bit thin and without very very basic motivations, which is too bad as a great character study in a bar is something that could lead to a really interesting results.

The cast here is limited to 8 people on screen for those involved in the main story and one more outside of that, including the writer. Most of the cast does ok here with some doing a bit better and others being on the cringy side of acting, but that is something that can be fairly easily ignored when they are not the center of the story or attention for most of the film. The acting here will work for some and not for others, but when watching the film, most of it seems to fit. This is a small ensemble cast, so spotting the weakest and strongest links is something that is unfortunately easy for some of the members and great for others. The bar that the film takes place in kind of becomes an extra character as it’s featured prominently and the story was cleary written to fit it with its own charm and feel.

The film’s look works for the story, in that it’s a bar, it’s empty, so it has a certain feel to it that needed to come through the images on the screen and between the cinematography, the lighting, and the editing, the feel and atmosphere of a bar with so few people in it comes through. There are surprisingly 4 people who did the cinematography, yet things look fairly even throughout, so kudos to them for creating a style that fit for all of them and keeping it stable throughout.

Bad Folk is an interesting super indie with a low budget, but plenty of ambition. It’s far from perfect, but it works overall and that’s more than one can usually ask for from a film made wih the kinds of limitiations put on this one. It’s an easy watch with some decent blood here and there.