- 1 hr 24 min
Distress is a psychological thriller film that premiered in 2003. The movie was directed by filmmaker Tony Spiridakis and starred Michele Hicks, Chris Meyer, and James McCaffrey. The storyline revolves around a young and ambitious journalist named Lee (Michele Hicks), who grows interested in doing a story about a local musician, Alex (Chris Meyer), who suffers from a mental illness. But as she delves deeper into their relationship, she realizes Alex might not just be simply talented musically.
The film starts with a powerful intro where we see Lee running through the woods, trying to get away from something that's scaring her. This tense start sets the tone of the film and leaves the audience questions about what will follow. Lee is shown as a young, tough, and determined journalist who wants to make a name for herself in the industry. She has just taken on an assignment to research and write a story on a local musician with psychological issues named Alex.
When Lee first meets Alex, he seems like an ordinary guy with a talent for music that speaks to her. But as she continues to spend time with him, she starts to sense something is off about him. She tries hard to get him to open up to her, but he remains guarded and secretive. She meets his friends, family members, and ex-girlfriend, but none of them seem to have any answers about his inner turmoil.
As Lee continues to investigate, she discovers that Alex has a history of being violent and has been in and out of mental institutions for most of his life. His erratic behavior leads Lee to believe that he may be dangerous, particularly towards women. Despite her reservations, however, Lee keeps going, and her quest for the truth leads her to some terrifying discoveries.
The film is shot in a gritty style that perfectly captures the dark mood of the story. The cinematography is excellent, with some particularly striking shots showing the eerie calmness of the nighttime cityscape. The movie incorporates many flashbacks, which provide insightful glimpses into the mind of Alex and adds depth to his character.
The performances by the main cast are excellent. Michelle Hicks is a standout as the tough but vulnerable Lee, who is determined to uncover the truth no matter the cost. Chris Meyer delivers a mesmerizingly intense portrayal of Alex, who is messed up but impossible to ignore. James McCaffrey is impressive as the therapist who is trying to help Alex navigate through his issues.
The script by Tony Spiridakis is brilliantly written, offering insight into the psyche of a man who struggles with mental illness. The film explores the themes of violence, redemption, and revenge. As the story comes to its climax, the tension builds, leading to a shocking conclusion that will leave the audience breathless.
Overall, Distress is a smartly crafted film that offers a suspenseful ride with an unpredictable ending. It's a movie that explores some dark themes while also highlighting the power of human connection.