Sol Stabile is the young writer/director of “GRAVESEND”, available on dvd from LIONS GATE FILMS. Made on a very apparent low budget, it manages to remain captivating and disturbing throughout most if its 85 minute running time. The story focuses on several friends, all pretty close-knit, when they’re not at each other’s throats! What we witness in “GRAVESEND” is the limited hope all of the main characters have. And, worse, given the personalities and value system conveyed here, their bleak future feels so painfully unavoidable. As depicted here, these guys seem to live their life to the fullest through drinking, smoking, fighting and petty theft. However, when one ridiculously dumb act causes the death of another, it’s time for all of them to grow up quickly. Will they? As events unfold, and the night gets later, we observe, as the main characters do, that their abilities to act with good judgment are limited by whom they’ve already determined they are.
Gripping, and in the end, even a little poignant, it’s an imperfect but worthwhile viewing experience.
LIONS GATE FILMS has released this film in its proper 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Made on a low budget, mostly as a film school project, the image suffers from excessive grain. Colors are dull, and the detail is limited, though better than its VHS counterpart.
The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack suffers from the same bugs affecting any extremely low budget film. However, the dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.