The Aggression Scale (2012)

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The Aggression Scale (2012)

(ag.gres.sion.scale):noun: “A psychological test meaning the frequency of overt aggressive behaviours that may result in physical or psychological injury to others.”

The film opens with shocking violence making you sit up and take notice this carries on throughout as there is no holding back in this action thriller. Mob boss Bellavance (Ray Wise) discovers that $500,000 of his money has been stolen so he sends out a gang of hitmen to send a message to the suspected thieves and also retrieve the stolen money. This of course could be harder than first anticipated. Having only recently and rather abruptly moved from the city into a house conveniently located in the middle of nowhere, aren’t they always and without even unpacking the moving boxes before Bellavance’s men turn up invading their home and killing Maggie and Ben in the process. Will they get more than they bargained for when they meet the children of the family rebellious Lauren (Fabianne Therese) and Owen (Ryan Hartwig) a very disturbed individual who has only recently been released from a facility.

These are the two real standout characters of the film two fearless teenagers fighting against a gang of trained hitmen I know who my money’s on! Without knowing where the stolen money is Lauren and Owen are the key and last hope to finding it and they seem to have just escaped out the window. The only hope of finding Bellavances’s money is to find them. This should be easy shouldn’t it, trained hitmen against two teenagers? Owen is a deeply troubled and disturbed teen who has homicidal tendencies and rates rather high on the aggression scale himself. He does however know how to make lethal booby-traps and is about to teach some very painful lessons to the home invaders.

There are comparisons to Home Alone and these cannot be ignored and are rather welcomed but we need to talk about Owen as he is much more Kevin Katchadourianhan than Kevin McCallister there won’t be any paint pots swinging at the bad guys this time but razor blades and guns as Owen has more deadly games in store for them and on a much more disturbing level. You always need to worry about the quiet ones and Owen is as silent and sadistic as they come.

A thoroughly enjoyable film that asks the question how far would you go for money and is it worth dying for?

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