'A Hand To Play' is ten minutes of menace and a look into a world of crime and desperation.
The plot goes something like this: A family man and sometime drug dealer, Joe decides to gamble and go behind his employers back in order to make himself some extra money. Unfortunately for Joe though, he is employed by an infamous underground criminal - Mr. Trent.
This short looks into the life of Joe(Philp Gwilliams whose performance is subtle and very tight) whose crossed Mr. Trent played by Doug Bradley. Doug Bradley has of course played Pinhead and needs no introduction but Mr.Trent is a very different animal then the lead cenobite.
The byplay between the gangster Mr.Trent and Joe is the heart of the short. In less then ten minutes the audience is introduced to the characters, plunged into the world of 'A Hand To Play', and the tension is felt throughout.
Screenwriter Paul McGowan knows his craft and Director Mike Clarke takes full advantage of every single second of the writing.
'A Hand To Play' threads the line between 'Neo Noir' and horror quite nicely. The measure comes from Doug Bradley's Mr.Trent. A charming yet menacing person in equal measure whose presence screams don't mess with me.
I've seen some of the police shows that Doug Bradley has done in the past. He was very good in many of those shows. However, it was Philp Gwilliams that really impressed me. He gave a very subtle performance. It was a nice tight short.
Viewing the short made me want to know more. More about the world, the characters around Mr.Trent and how he operates.
Chris Cronin's editing is very well done and does take anything away from the performances and adds to the feel of the film setting the world of 'A Hand To Play' in motion. Joel Catchatoor's original music sound track adds to the menace and tension of the film without distracting the audience. I'd go so far to say that it enriches the whole thing.
'A Hand To Play' is only now starting to make its way in the indie and horror film festivals. If you get a chance to see it do yourself a favor and grab a seat. This a very nice little gem of a film.
A Hand To Play Has a Facebook page right HERE