Cutlass, The. Thriller Dilutes into Drama

Cutlass, The. Film Details Director: Darisha J. Beresford Writer: Teneille Newallo The Cutlass

Director: Darisha J. Beresford

Writer: Teneille Newallo

Release Date: December 12th, 2017

Release Format: VOD

MPAA Rating: N/A

Genre:  Drama, Thriller

Running Time: 1h 37min

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Inspired by true events, THE CUTLASS is a dramatic thriller set in the tropical wilderness of Trinidad and tells the story of a young woman who falls into the grasp of a dangerous sociopath. She finds herself isolated and musters the courage to emotionally battle the unsettled mind of her abductor.


The Cutlass is a perfect example of how not to judge a book by its cover. Its the movie poster coupled with the synopsis. I adopt to examining the film first instead of referring to the synopsis and/or appreciating the poster one sheet. Yet, in this circumstance, I let my infatuation for revenge horror films seize the lead in this article. The topic am attributing to are those films that consist of a tormented female victim turned vengeful aggressor.

Looking at the poster one sheet it is easy to establish a presumption that The Cutlass has a vengeance thriller element. The poster art bears a female figure wielding a machete in a sexy yet domineering pose. A male oppressive threat stands in the foreground equipped with an AK-47. The symbolism can best measure as the feeble female not stand a fighting chance against her male assailant.

Did the poster one sheet serve misleading advertising? Perhaps, but what does The Cutlass convey to audiences. Director: Darisha J. Beresford Writer: Teneille Newallo The Cutlass


The Cutlass begins by impersonating a nail-biting Thriller unfortunately once the adrenaline factor takes hold it stands at a constant pace. As the film develops the viewer might crave more out from the narrative. The scenarios presented scream for havoc and ruthlessness yet writer Teneille Newallo refrains from these influences. The main characters have strong establishment and the plot is entertaining. Yet, there is room for much more to develop from the presentation here.

I wasn’t pleased with how the supporting casts got eliminated with ease and without cause. In ACT I a group of acquaintances assemble for a weekend getaway. The set-up promises some dreadful situation will transpire surrounding them. After the terrible circumstance develops these characters fade from existence. My dispute is; why commit the time to compose these parts, use performers for said characters only to eliminate them from the continuing storyline? Director: Darisha J. Beresford Writer: Teneille Newallo The Cutlass

The Cutlass despite some nuances includes a satisfactory structure, a story that expresses more in line with a Drama/Thriller.

I feel The Cutlass has many authentic quality attributes. To reformulate the genre, this film shows a safe to claim with the ideas presented.

The performances are the foundation of this film. Newallo established an intense and frightening exchange between the antagonist and the protagonist. For ACT II and ACT III actress Lisa-Bel Hirschmann and actor, Arnold Goindhan monopolizes the film. Goindham exemplifies the role of a man desperate for a departure from his social status. This villain has humanistic traits that warrant the actions he is carrying out. The only dispute I have with this antagonist/protagonist conflict is the race issue. Out of the two actors listed here, Goindhan steals the spotlight with his noteworthy performance.

The Cutlass displays an upper-class Caucasian female in distress. In contrast, her aggressor is of a darker complexion, therefore, it warrants him to be of poverty-stricken origin. This is how society dictates race and social status and it is the way it should be, note my sarcasm.

There were many elegant shots of the neighboring landscape that serves a contradiction to the Thriller elements. Setting up the intimate shots Ian Bloom displays phenomenal techniques as the cinematographer. Mood and tension were conveyed well in the derelict cabin in the woods. The moments leading up to the rape scene although gut-wrenching and this was due to the cretive camera angles. I found the intimate scenes between Hirschmann and Goindhan had a strong visual establishment. Director: Darisha J. Beresford Writer: Teneille Newallo The Cutlass

In Conclusion

The Cutlass is extending one concept via poster art and synopsis and delivers another with composition. While the film carries an effective conflict between the protagonist and antagonist it is the racial sterotype that weakens the approach. The cast delivers solid performances yet the production was callous in dropping the supporting actors for reasons unknown.

For the idea, The Cutlass has success in conveying Drama with an interesting social commentary.


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