Josh and Anne has recently moved into a new house in a neighborhood that is considered ‘the hood’. While Anne is away on a short business trip, Josh tries to settle into the house before beginning his new job, but he cannot help being unnerved by the surroundings. He is seemingly the only white guy in the neighborhood, and he keeps thinking he is witnessing crimes occurring around him. In order to cope with his new life, Josh will have to decide whether or not he believes in stereotypes or if he is going to love his neighbor.
Production Quality (.5 point)
Fenced Off is obviously a very cheap production. The sets are very limited and the camera work is terrible, sometimes showing very tight shots and other times showing cutoff shots. The sound quality is inconsistent and there are a lot of cheap music montages that cover up the need for a boom mic. The video quality is at least clear, but the editing is bad. Granted, there is an iota of content to work with, so it is difficult to know what they were supposed to do. In short, based on the production quality alone, Fenced Off should have been rejected in the early stages or sent back for a makeover.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
There is only a small amount of potential in this plot, since it tries to deal with race relations and stereotypes. However, in doing so, it seems to reinforce stereotypes and make a joke out of real life struggles. It is hard to discern whether or not Fenced Off is an overt comedy. Sometimes it seems like a sick satire. The dialogue is grade school level and a majority of the movie is focused on Josh wandering around his house and property, pretending to do yard work, having childish phone conversations, getting a car wash, and yes—trying to cook meat. The conversations between the retired couple next door have little to no point and are grasping for meaning. There is also some edgy content that is misplaced and unwelcome. In summary, while it is noble to try to talk about racial stereotypes and collaborations in a small scale plot, Fenced Off never finds the point and needed a severe rewrite from the beginning, since it seems like this is a rough draft that accidentally got recorded.
Acting Quality (0 points)
There is no good acting in this film, absolutely none, only awkward and forceful delivery. Many lines seem impromptu and most of the actors seem unsure of how to perform simple everyday tasks like yard work and cooking meat. One actress in particular seems to be making a joke of the movie since it seems like she is always trying not to laugh. Some actors poorly mimic the racial stereotypes this movie is trying to speak out against. It appears as though the actors were just handed a vague script and told to follow it however they wished since they were only going to do one cut per scene.
Fenced Off is an idea that needed a lot more brainstorming and thought put into it before it left the proverbial roundtable of discussion. We have seen time and time again filmmakers who claim the name of Christ decide to just quickly make a cheap and rushed film about an interesting topic without putting any real effort into it. The issues need to be portrayed, but how are they being portrayed? In order to make a lasting impact, time and effort must be put into the movie’s production. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of everybody’s time.
Final Rating: 1 out of 10 points