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The Independent Critic

 Charles Craddock, Jessica Pearce, Conchita Mbuyambo, Georgia Macleod
David Campion
80 Mins.

 Movie Review: Straight Through Crew 
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At times, writer/director David Campion's indie drama Straight Through Crew felt like some sort of cousin to Adam Wingard's early effort Pop Skull, a film I loved quite a bit when I had the chance to check it out at Indy Film Fest not long before the world discovered the now Godzilla directing Wingard. 

Narratively, the two films are quite different but there's something in their hazy, drug-fueled narratives that make them feel like they belong to one another. 

In this film, a Christmas Eve-set film directed and set in the U.K., a group of friends are set to attend a Christmas Eve rave in the village. Set almost entirely within this rave, Straight Through Crew comes to life as substances flow, feelings collide, and the relational dynamics begin to shift and expose truths. 

Having had its world premiere at the Manchester International Film Festival, Straight Through Crew will most appeal to those who can embrace its fiercely indie tendencies set within a realm most likely can't identify. I'm always a fan of the more alt-Christmas flick and that's definitely true here, though it's worth noting that Christmas doesn't actually play much of a factor here. Described by the filmmaker as a "contemporary tale about rural hedonism," Straight Through Crew will likely make you want to drop a little acid and surrender yourself to its unique vibes including excellent original music by Mitch Bain and Tom O'Keefe's lively and imaginative lensing for a film that is probably best left unseen by those with serious light/strobe sensitivities. If you've ever been to a rave, and I have, then you'll likely know what to expect here including the heightened emotions of its increasingly under the influence participants and the rather psychedelic impact of its rhythmic music and disorienting lighting. 

Amidst it all, the film sets a basic but impactful narrative. I will confess I found myself a little more fond of the film's secondary characters - Laura Hall's Lisane captivated, Jason Rosato's Richie was absolutely compelling, and I couldn't help but be drawn to James Douglas-Quarcoopome's Jingle. As Jamie, Jessica Pearce is one to watch in the future. 

I tend to be a fan of British indies. Straight Through Crew didn't blow me away, though Campion took what could have easily been an unwatchable one-note story and turned it into an engaging and honest drama that had some strong original notes. 

Straight Through Crew sure won't appeal to everyone, however, for those who can sync with its vibe this Brit indie offers quite a bit of promise and a talented ensemble I'll be watching for in the future. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic