New Money

Working at a big box pet store does not bring in tons of money, as you can well imagine. Meager funds are further drained when you are a drug addict. Such is the case for Debbie Tisdale (Louisa Krause – from television’s Billions), who lives with her loser boyfriend, Steve (Brendan Sexton III – from television’s Russian Doll), who is also an addict. The only bright light on her horizon is that she is turning 30 and her wealthy father Boyd (Chelcie Ross – Major League, Hoosiers), who is deep in the throes of dementia, has promised her $50,000 upon her 30th birthday.

Besides the fact that she needs the money to pay bills like her car bill, Debbie is planning to go back to nursing school, which she stopped once she became an addict. When Boyd and his younger wife, Rose (Robin Weigert – from television’s Deadwood), inform her that she will not be getting the money, rather they are offering to pay if she goes into rehab, things begin to unravel for everyone involved.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And that is exactly the state Debbie finds herself in. So she and Steve decide that their only option is to kidnap her father. Writing forged checks, Debbie and Steve are able to live high on the horse for a while. In the meantime, Rose has hired a private detective (Tom Wopat – from television’s The Dukes of Hazzard) to help her find her husband. Something’s gotta give.

A film like this is all about the story and the acting. Made on a small budget, you have to rely on the talent of the actors to be able to convey the story. As the focal point Krause bears the biggest burden and is up to the challenge. Ably conveys a young woman who is teetering between addiction and a state of desperation to not be desperate anymore. Ross and Weigert show their experience as veteran actors both handling tricky characters well.

As for the story it is rather a tragic one, but the darkness is smoothed out by the moments of humour. Desperation is the name of the game for Debbie and Steve. Then Rose is dragged into it when her ailing husband goes missing. All end up doing things they normally wouldn’t have because they feel they have no other alternative. As is the case when this type of situation arises, things get out of hand rather quickly. Innocent bystanders end up paying the price.

Desperation makes the situation get worse…quickly. And needlessly. Director and screenwriter Jason B. Kohl keeps things moving along. Not as easy as that seems in regards to thrillers. Many stumble while attempting just that. Kohl has left precious few holes or lags in his story. Keeps the viewer invested and engaged. Has also managed to create fully fleshed out junkies. They are not one dimensional. Not merely pathetic or monsters.

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