Mr. Bellavance wants his $500,000 back. And whoever may have stolen it is going to whacked, with the polaroids to prove it.
That’s how The Aggression Scale kicks off. And for the next 84 minutes it doesn’t let up. It’s a fly under the radar flick that action fans definitely shouldn’t miss out on. And if you grew up loving Twin Peaks, you definitely have to watch this one.
Mr Bellavance is played by Ray Wise, who TP fans know as Leland Palmer, while his main hitman, Lloyd, is portrayed by Dana Ashbrook, aka Bobby Briggs. In the acting world, Wise is a given talent, a character actor who has turned in countless memorable performances throughout his storied career. Ashbrook is no doubt best known for his time on time on Twin Peaks, but he’s really a standout in The Aggression Scale. He’s aged very well and comes across as the badass his character requires.
Back to the story. Bellavance’s hitmen (among them Ashbrook and Derek Mears from the recent Friday The 13th reboot) track down a the Rutledge family, one that includes the emotionally disturbed Owen (Ryan Hartwig), who sets about protecting himself and his new sister when things turn very bad for the family.
Under the direction of Steven C. Miller, The Aggression Scale is a kickass thriller that will hopefully find an audience after it got strong notices at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival. With all sorts of crap that makes it to movie theatres, it’s too bad that the film didn’t score a wider release. It’s quick and clever and has some great action scenes. The performances are all strong, with the standouts coming from Ashbrook and Mears, who act and react exactly how you think hitmen in their situation would. That’s one of the strongest aspect of The Aggression Scale – the characters feel real.
A refreshing take on home invasion films, The Aggression Scale is well worth tracking down. It’s out today on Blu-ray and DVD and can be ordered here.