DVD Samuel Bleak

DVD Samuel Bleak
DVD Samuel Bleak
Rating: 5.6
Genres: Drama | Thriller
Director: Dustin Dugas Schuetter
Writers: Dustin Dugas Schuetter
Stars: Jaime Murray, Keith David, Deborah Kara Unger
In a quiet southern town, several lives are changed forever when an isolated mute with a dark secret is admitted to a mental institution.
Plot Keywords: mute, mental institution, trauma, suspense, mental health
Country: USA
Release Date: 5 March 2013 (USA)
Box Office
Budget: $1,750,000 (estimated)


  1. A very interesting and well executed drama. This film is (like the title character himself) a very quiet, deliberate movie. Yet for all of its restraint, the movie packs a whallop emotionally – culminating in an climax that will stick with you for a while.

    The cast is top notch. Veteren actors (James Russo, Keith David, and a particularly good Deborah Kara Unger) mesh well with newcomers (Christine Kelly, Carlucci Weyent) and are led by Dustin Dugas Schuetter as Samuel. Schustter delivers a hypnotic performance in the title role – creating a character that expresses more in his silence than most can speaking.

    Well acted, well written, and very well directed, "Samuel Bleak" is a pleasant surprise. Well worth a spot in your Netflix cue.

  2. The concept is decent enough and the twist at the end had some impact until the events immediately after the twist went full-retard.

    The screenplay suffers from typical amateur writing perils, namely dialogue that feels under-developed and unnatural.

    The lead actor (who is also the writer & director) doesn't fit the role – he looks too much like a model and creates distance from the viewer because of that. Someone with a less idealistic look (I'm not saying ugly) would've fit the role. Also his performance is extremely stiff and too visibly self-conscious.

    That aside there were some decent efforts and some well-executed cinematography.

    There is one part of this film I found inexcusable. The score. It's absolutely atrocious and falls well under any of the negative things I've said about other elements of the film. It's really, really, really bad, and it drags the whole film down immensely. I wouldn't be surprised if the score was micro-managed by the director – in which case, shame.

    This seems put together by a rich kid with good intentions and decent ideas – but has a very long way to go in figuring out just where he belongs in the scheme of this whole "film industry" thing.

    This film is best put on in the background while you fiddle with your laptop in bed and try to fall asleep. You might turn it off early when the music gets to those particularly bad themes.

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