Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

söndag 15 april 2018


Directed by: Johnny Dickie
Written by: Johnny Dickie
Stars: Henry Crane, Erin Mccone, Jack Mulvanerty

Country: USA
Style: Short | Thriller
Runtime: 45 min

Johnny Dickie has come a very long way since the debut of Slaughter Tales. Keith Loves Ava had been something I was anticipating since Dickie released the trailer about six months ago. It looked like it was going to be much different than what was currently going on in the independent horror world, and after seeing seeing Jack Mulvanerty’s Piety which was co-directed by Dickie, I knew that he was capable of crafting something that would stand out among its peers. I wasn’t let down.

Keith Loves Ava is a video diary/found footage style film that takes you into the mind of the titular Keith. An awkward, probably autistic loner, Keith, who lives on his own at his parents expense is making a documentary about the town he lives in. But the focus is more so on himself. He brings you to places that he thinks are important in the town, he talks about his own background, he doesn’t have friends or even acquaintances really, so he tries to interview stranges. One of these strangers turns out to be Ava. The clerk at a local bookstore, Ava is about as normal as a girl can get. And unfortunately for Ava, Keith becomes infatuated with her immediately upon meeting her. He interviews her for his film, and then asks for a follow up interview. Upon meeting with her for the follow up, Keith learns that she has a boyfriend and it’s all down hill from here. Keith begins to unravel, murderously. He confronts Ava’s boyfriend’s best-friend, resulting in his death. The climax sees Keith tying both Ava and her boyfriend up and torturing them to death. The end.

This was really well shot. Impressively well for a video diary style film. It was almost too good to pass for a video diary at some points.

Some of the acting was kind of stiff, but Henry Crane really knocked it out of the park here. He played a believable and almost lovable weirdo. Similar to Norman Bates, you get the idea that there’s something off about Keith but he’s just normal enough to get a pass. Dickie is always good at playing himself and Mulvanerty does great as an uncomfortable wholesome victim to Keith’s madness. Erin McCone, who plays Ava, was good in an amateur way, but shows promise. Everyone had good chemistry and played off of each other really well.

My only real problems with the film was that I wanted more background and closure from a lot of different aspects of the story. I was really into the story, it was unfolding and getting heavier and heavier, but there was a few things that felt like they were left open that I wished were closed.

Keith mentions a girl that he had had a relationship with in the past, and you get the idea that something terrible may have happened to her. But you never really get much out of it. I get that the story is told by Keith and you get what he’s comfortable giving, but I was really on the edge of my seat waiting to see this girl’s skeleton in his basement or something. Also, why did Keith’s parents leave him with their house? All of these people could potentially be rotting in a crawl space and I want to know what’s going on. And I never will. That hurts.

The ending was a little empty feeling too. You get a Big Bang with some mean gore and torture. But you don’t get closure. You don’t get answers. You don’t find out who Keith “really” is. Or what happens to him. But again, I guess this is my problem with found footage style films and not this film in particular. You get what you’re given and if you’re give too much it takes away from it being realistic. I guess it’s ballsy to make a no budget found footage film, and I think Dickie did so successfully.

All in all, Keith Loves Ava was great. It was fun and entertaining. You get a mean spirited short out of it and it delivers in the end. Dickie, Mulvanerty, and Crane have a general sense of what they’re trying to do and they’re all definitely on the same page. This and Piety sort of give me hope for this next generation of younger independent filmmakers.


Writer for Twisted Minds. Crazy American guy, collaborates together with his homebro Crack Sizzlack and Four Twenty Film Reviews. Have a great knowledge about movies and music and has been on the track as long as he can remember. He has a huge VHS-collection and is responsible owner of the underground movie distribution label King of the Witches and has written and directed the feature film In Furs (2016).