Directed by Jamie Weston (Fox Trap)
UK film production company Proportion Productions have impressed me a lot over the past couple of years, with such films as Deadly Waters, Fox Trap and Lucifers Night. But this morning I can see that although i did enjoy those three previously mentioned films, that the people over at Proportion Productions have not only upped there game, but also set themselves a new benchmark to try and hit for their follow up projects to this cracker ‘Darker Shades of Elise’ by Jamie Weston, and written by Shannon Holiday.. The cover art features a quote by Nightmare Maker Reviews that describes the film as “Fatal Attraction Meets Fifty Shades of Grey” and whilst I do very much agree with that high concept pitch for the film. I would add that I feel Darker Shades of Elise doesn’t just meet Fifty Shades of Grey (and Fifty Shades Darker) but hits it head on with the full force of a hammer blow and carries on moving, leaving any writing by E.L James in its wake.
Straight from the opening scenes, Elise (played by Becky Fletcher) has the audience in the palm of her hand .We instantly take to her. She is not only super attractive,in both looks and charisma but she also needs a friend and confidence in her life. Shes married but shes still alone. Her husband Rick (wonderfully played by Tommy Viles who plays the role so well i instantly took a disliking to his character straight away) Rick is a waste of space, not really giving her the attention that she deserves We the audience feel for Elise and want to see her smile to see her escape what looks like a depressing lifestyle.. When a visit to a female friend of hers turns into a semi uncomfortable scene to watch, yet a scene that you cant help but watch (I know…what a dilemma) Elise’s life begins to change. They do say a change is as good as a rest but those rules may not apply in her world. They also say that the grass is greener on the other side but always remember that over every lovely well built wall, can also be a sheer drop that can change your life forever. Darker Shades of Elise is most certainly that. This isn’t a romanticised glorious view a.k.a Mr Grey. This is a very serious film that takes us the audience from a voyeur who love what they are seeing, and then flipping us on our head, and showing us the grimmer side of humanity and distraction. The film is wonderfully cringe-worthy in places and thats exactly the way the scenes need to be. We enjoy the scenes but then we dont. We want to ‘rescue’ Elise (in the emotional sense) The film is most definitely graphic when it needs to be and the graphic scenes never overstay their welcome or turn into something cheesy. Everything in this film is perfectly timed.
I cant fire enough praise on the cast and crew of this film, especially the lead Becky Fletcher in easily her most intimate role. I once spoke with Becky on one of my podcasts and this was before I had seen Darker Shades of Elise If she is ever on another show with me I want to ask her how on earth you prepare to films scenes such as some of the ones in Darker Shades Of Elise. She covers pretty much every range in this film. Happy, Sad, Intimate, Scared. Out of control. In full control. Now THAT is seriously impressive acting. Also hats off to Arron Blake as the stranger ‘Felix’ the photographer with his eyes set on the lovely Elise. That role must have been so much fun to play although theres no comedy in this film. This is a serious tale, about serious people trying to find some escapism but then realising that sometimes what you escape from, might not be as dangerous as the thing you have run from. I cant highly recommend this thriller/drama enough to you although do remind yourself that this film is adult rated (18) and most certainly deserves its rating.
The film has something that is so often missing from thrillers nowadays. Those moments when all is well and then you realise its not. Its been a long time since ive referred to a film as ‘Nail bitingly thrilling’ but this film has it. ,Its also one of the sexiest thrillers ive seen for a long time. Its sexy, Its seductive, and the world we see is dark. We all want to peek behind the curtain. But beware. For those who love the books of EL James. This film is what Fifty Shades should have been.
Many thanks to Proportion Productions and the cast and crew of Darker Shades of Elise for their wonderful work on the film. Cant wait to see the next one!
Darker Shades of Elise is coming soon! (no that wasn’t a pun!!!) The film will be out soon. You should definitely check it out.