JimmyO Burril has been hitting the nail on the head for a few years now. He struck indie gold, as well as a nerve, with his female killing machine “Chainsaw Sally” and has continued to turn out impressive indie action (including the web cult hit, “The Chainsaw Sally Show”) with regularity. With his film, “The Good Sisters”, he continues on his win streak by turning the story to more character driven territory.
The film revolves around a pair of eccentric, wiccan sisters names Breanne and Kindra Good (played to the hilt by Debbie Rochon and April Monique Burril) who try to live their lives as unnoticed as humanly possible. The sisters have a very dark heritage that they keep very private and will protect at any cost. Mostly, they do this successfully until their new neighbor, Daniel moves in and brings an air of oddness and mystery with him. It becomes obvious to the sisters that he’s not chosen to move into their apartment building by coincidence and paranoia starts to set in. At first, the girls aren’t quite sure if he’s just a creepy middle-aged man with an unhealthy obsession but as time progresses, it becomes a little more obvious that there is more to the story, and Breanne and Kindra need to call on all their powers to once again, fight the battle of the light vs. the dark. With this, comes sacrifice and consequence that may not be what they desire, but deem as necessary in order to protect their side of this war that’s as old as time. As the other tenants become suspicious and start meddling in things that ought not be meddled in, dark happenings begin to occur, resulting in a bloody battle for philosophical rites to the throne.
The winning ingredient to this film isn’t just the great performances by the leads or the fantastic use of minimal set pieces for maximum effect. It’s strength lies in it’s ability to make the viewer want to question what is wrong and what it right. You see, their isn’t a really clearly defined answer given to the audience at the film’s conclusion as to who the winner was. Plain and simple: The film ends in a bloodbath and we are left to figure that out on our own. The Good sisters aren’t bad people. They keep to themselves, do the things they enjoy, never causing harm to anyone (at least, until they are provoked), and seem to be generally pleasant women. But really, the same can be said for Daniel too. Until he was noticed as being everywhere the sisters turned, did they have any reason to suspect him a threat? Absolutely not. So, here we find ourselves not knowing who is really wrong or right in this fight. Isn’t that what it’s all about too? Both sides have killed for their cause, both have made mistakes, took risks, and have suffered for their beliefs. It’s really a great metaphor for how people view others outside of their religious/social network. The film doesn’t define one side or the other as being right. It’s up to YOU to decide what you think is the answer (the way it should be!).
Per usual, Debbie Rochon churns out another consistent and entertaining performance. I can’t honestly think of an instance where I didn’t like her work. As Breanne, she plays into the older, protective sister role. She has a very settled and nurturing way about her when discussing potentials enemy threat with her sister. And speaking of her sister, I think it’s safe to say I’m really starting to fall in love with April Monique Burril’s acting. Taking up a very different emotional trek, playing a far more vulnerable and skiddish character in Kindra. Kindra is the younger of the two sisters and has the initial bouts with paranoia and looks to her sister for reassurance that nothing has or will happen. Of course, as the film continues on, we find out that her premonitions are correct and that there are plenty of people to not be trusted. This discovery is where Rochon and Burril shine-upon the discovery that they are going to need to take more desperate measures to save them from harm, Rochon’s character still calmly approaches a plan while Burril’s portrayal of Kindra allows her to keep the energy and rage up. Both actresses let the maniacal sides of their characters bubble up and resonate for a large portion of the movie, only giving the audiences glimpses of the darkness that lies just underneath. This makes the eruption of the film’s climax all that more potent.
JimmyO Burril’s Forbidden Pictures have been a consistent positive in horror’s independent underground over the last few years and The Good Sisters is a continuation of that brilliance. His ability to not only tell a great character-driven story but to also give the horror audience all the nastiness they could want, proves him to be a true fan’s director. He getshorror and respects the genre enough to give it the star treatment. And while this is an indie film, they clearly spared no expense making the film look and sound great. It’s well lit, audio remains consistent and level throughout, and the cinematography is outstanding. JimmyO’s a class act when it comes to making a horror film and with The Good Sisters, he ups the bar for himself by churning out a fantastic feature length. The Good Sisters is a sexually-charged, dark, smart horror film of the highest caliber. We can only hope that JimmyO Burril continues to bless fans of the horror genre with gems like this for years to come. Well done, folks!