07th Apr2021

‘The Odds’ DVD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Abbi Butler, James J. Fuertes, Katie Gunn, Les Parker, Sean Ramey | Written and Directed by Bob Giordano

The Odds sits alongside movies like Buried and Elevator which have a set of characters (or character) in one small setting for the entirety of the movie. In The Odds we see a man and woman sat opposite each other at a table in a small room from pretty much the first minute to the last.

I actually like these types of movies. Having that singular setting and a limited amount of characters means that the film has to rely on great performances and/or a great script if it wants to excel. The characters here are sat at the table to play a game. Well, at least one of them, the woman. She is hoping to win $1 million dollars in a pain endurance ‘game’ that is being filmed seemingly for people to put bets on. It starts off with the painful sounding and looking task of holding her and over a candle flame for an excruciating amount of time but just a handful of rounds later and things have got a lot more serious.

My main issue with The Odds is that it just goes on too long. The two actors have to be really on top of their game when the focus is entirely on them with very little ‘action’ to speak of. The dialogue and their performances becoming even more important than most films and their leads. As such, at around an hour and forty-five minutes, The Odds is at least twenty minutes too long. It’s a shame because the movie runs along quite nicely for a little over an hour but the last thirty minutes or so seem to go on for much longer than necessary. We get the same thing over and over again until it gets a little boring and you see where it’s heading much before we actually get there.

Thankfully, the two relatively inexperienced actors do admirable jobs in their roles. Abbi Butler plays ‘The Player’ and she acts and looks a bit like Betty Gilpin in The Hunt. She doesn’t quite reach the levels of that performance but your continuously feel her pain, her determination and her anger.

While James J. Fuertes plays ‘The Game Masters’. And he does a good job to make sure you really don’t like him and his cocky smirk. It won’t take long for you to decide you want to see him dead. He’s really annoying and just plain horrible in the best way possible.

Some horror fans might be a bit disappointed at the lack of gore in a film that is not far from a ‘torture porn’ movie. But one in which the viewer doesn’t actually see is a whole lot of the physical torture. The film really doesn’t need graphic violence though so it isn’t a problem. Playing out like a more character-driven, dialogue-heavy Saw sequel isn’t a bad thing. Compacting everything into a shorter runtime would have helped but The Odds just lacks that extra something to really pick up any kind of cult following.

The Odds is out now on DVD from High Fliers Films.

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