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The Independent Critic

Aaron James Jastrab, Sean Ian, Dennis Hunda, Jordan Sartor-Francis, Christine Nordstrom
Jaryd Massaro

 "Origin" Gets Set for Indie Fest Circuit 
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Writer/director Jarryd Massaro's short drama/thriller Origin is a quietly chilling indie short centered around a nameless young child (Aaron James Jastrab) whose obsession with heroes may have more than a little of its foundation in his jarringly abusive home life and his seeming inability to do anything about it. 

Origin is immersed in the dim and grim lensing of D.P. Ben Grant, whose lens haunts without exploiting and whose ability to capture a certain kind of wonder within Jastrab's remarkable performance leaves you thinking about the film long after its closing credits have scrolled by. Jacob Denny's original score pulses and throbs its way into your veins, an emotional plunder that keeps rhythm with Massaro's rather sparse yet perfectly timed dialogue. Christine Nordstrom is quietly moving as Penny, while Dennis Hunda is bound to trigger more than a few flashbacks for those viewers who grew up in such an environment. As Harvey, Hunda rides a line somewhere between incredibly pathetic and downright sociopathic. 

While the ensemble is terrific, in most ways Origin truly belongs to the young Jastrab, whose opening scenes plotting out war scenarios in a makeshift sheet fort are gripping with so much tension that it practically takes your breath away. Wisely, Massaro doesn't give into the temptation for unnecessary histrionics and instead trusts the inherent thrills and suspense within his dialogue and within these performances. 

As a bartender whose observation skills spy that something just ain't right, Sean Ian keeps the drama low and the intensity high in a riveting, intense performance. 

Origin has only recently been completed and is getting set for its planned indie festival run. While chillers and thrillers are a dime a dozen on the fest circuit, prospects should be high for this thoughtful, involving drama/thriller that serves up lots of questions and not a whole lot of answers. 

For more information on Origin, visit the film's official Facebook page linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic