When Peter King’s parents die, he is tasked with going through their possessions before the house is foreclosed on. However, in the midst of sorting through things that remind him of his strained relationship with his father, Peter stumbles upon a secret room he was never allowed to enter as a child. Inside he finds a myriad of audio recordings his father secretly recorded in this childhood. As Peter wrestles with anger and bitterness towards his father, he will have to come to grips with the faith he was always taught.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
Unfortunately, this production begins very rough, with a dizzying opening sequence and shaky camera work. There are also some odd camera angles and poor lighting at first. Audio quality also has a tough start, with loud sound effects and a very random soundtrack that is sometimes good and sometimes not. There is basically only one set, but it is used to its fullest potential. Yet despite this raw beginning, the production overall improves as the movie goes on, as if the first part was just a demo reel they forgot to fix in post. The improvement begs the question why they couldn’t go back over the first part, but there is improvement nonetheless in all production areas. In the end, it would have been nice to see the entire movie look like the second half, but the production becomes average when all is said and done.
Plot and Storyline Quality (2 points)
Despite the odd comments and asides and typical remembrance dialogue that is something wooden and empty, the story of Between the Walls highlights some interesting and unfortunately not too unrealistic family issues unfortunately too many can relate to. Though there are a lot of nothing scenes and unnecessary attempts to be creepy, there are some interesting plot twists that make this story worthwhile. Since there are few characters, we would have liked to see them developed a little bit deeper, but they are adequate as they are due to the unique and creative use of flashbacks and psychological elements. Sometimes the messaging can be a bit heavy-handed, but the plot overall carries an effective Christian message that is actually meaningful and accessible. This is an above average plot, but imagine how much better it could have been with better funding.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
Though this ‘amateur’ cast is sometimes overly practiced and robotic, their performances improve as the movie goes on. Emotions tend to be immature at first but improve throughout the runtime. They are a small cast, but demonstrate a lot of potential. They executed the multi-level flashbacks where some casts would have failed. In the end, this is another average section.
We can’t help but feel that Between the Walls left a lot of untapped potential on the proverbial field, even though there were plenty of intriguing elements included. We really wish it could have been Hall of Fame, yet it needed better funding and plot refining in order to achieve this. Nonetheless, this film is an example of what a raw, underfunded Christian project should look like: demonstrable creativity that makes the most of what is available. We hope that the Staron brothers have plans in the future to continue their film making careers, because they definitely have something to offer.
Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points