If you received a phone call from a close friend asking for your help, you’d probably run to their aid. What if you went and found your friend in their home, sitting naked on the toilet with a gun in their hand and a murdered wife on the shower floor? What if you also watched them raise the pistol into their mouth and pull the trigger? Might lead you to become a bit stressed – end up on some meds to calm you down. That’s Cole (Mark Kelly of ‘Mad Men’), our hapless floor cleaning man, and this is his story as Removal opens past the credits.
The problem proposed in Removal is that Cole is quite overworked pulling double shifts all week, and his marriage is failing. He hasn’t been taking his meds as prescribed, and when he doesn’t, he tends to hallucinate. On top of this, his last estimate of the week ends up being a wealthy stiff (Oz Perkins of Star Trek) who snobbishly demands to the lure of a $5,000 bonus that he complete the entire house and all its rooms tonight. Its a 3-man job, and Cole is tired and out of medication, but he reluctantly takes on the proposition.
Cole begins to become suspicious of his employer as the night progresses and his condition worsens. A crimson stained carpet, a shovel carried through the backyard, the mop and bucket by the locked room, the homeowner’s detest for his missing wife. All coming to a head while begging the question – is Cole hallucinating, or is he about to be offed after cleaning up a murder scene? With little time left, its a decision he must decipher through a fog of uncertainty that will have you gripped and grasping for straws of truth. In finality, as perplexed as you may become, its all ironed out for you in a manner reminiscent of Saw or Session 9 – circumventing duplication and drawing good qualities from those film’s elements to artistically signature an ending it can call its own.
Put straight to disc, starring bland star-support Elliot Gould, and dryly taking its time gathering momentum with a non-remarkable scenario, Removal dons average expectations going in, but Ill be adamant in stating that it does exceed any and all by the second half. Newcomer Daniel Meersand teams up with Oz Perkins and the film’s director to pull off a well balanced and mind-tickling script, while the acting, supported well by Billy Burke (Twilight), and overall production hit its mark from top to bottom. First time director Nick Simon flaunts some smooth directorial savvy in his debut, skillfully navigating the razor’s edge between sanity and reality in this ‘Three’s Company’ scenario gone to Hell. Released to DVD and Blu-Ray on January 3rd, 2012 – its an obscure although above-par effort that comes personally recommended if you’re looking to throw in a DVD you have no familiarity with, that’s actually worth your time.