In what started out as a hilarious mockumentary style film, Tom Kingsley and Will Sharpe's Black Pond eroded sharply during its final twenty minutes as it failed to understand the longevity of its central story arc.
The film, which tells the story of a family who has been accused of murder when a stranger dies at their kitchen table, starts strong out of the gate. Clever one liners play with the directors' unique style, giving the film a unique and intriguing quality that was hard to ignore. But then it stalled....
It pains me to say that an 82-minute movie was about 20 minutes too long, but, alas, it is true. By the time the hour mark hit, I couldn't wait to escape the troubled and painfully slow moving life of the Thompson clan. There was no action, no true sense of direction, and towards the end, I couldn't quite make out the linear structure of the story. What had started out as a courageous debut piece had suddenly turned boring and mundane.
I will give both men credit for their style. Unlike anything I have seen in recent memory, Black Pond successfully creates a unique tone that gives it an unusual eerie feeling as you witness the Thompson's become the “Family of Killers”. The visual colors mix well with the overall cinematography, ultimately giving audiences a visual that is undoubtedly appeasing to the eye.
I longed for this film to be good and truly felt I was watching something special over the course of the first hour. But the film lacks stamina and falls flat long before the credits begin to roll. I believe it would have made for a brilliant short. In extended form, the off-beat comedy and lackluster story just grew tiresome; no matter how many feet under you may feel, the depth is simply not enough.