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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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What We’re Watching

Reel Affirmations, Into the Lion's Den
Courtesy of Reel Affirmations

Hatchet reporter Roxanne Goldberg shares her latest movie experience.

Into the Lion’s Den” (2011)

An exploration of relationships and their potential for disaster, “Into the Lion’s Den” is a damaging thriller that will certainly evoke a torrent of disturbing thoughts.

When three friends embark on a journey from Los Angeles to New York City, they each find themselves confronted with a bit more than they bargained for. Carefree Johnny (Jesse Archer) convinces his friends Michael (Ronnie Kroell) and Ted (Kristen-Alexzander Griffith) to stop in an unnamed country town for the night after chatting with a man he met on Bender, an app designed to help men find each other for sex. After pleading with Michael and Ted to go all out on the last night of their road trip, Johnny leads the threesome to a local bar, The Lion’s Den. The night soon spirals out of control when Johnny’s mysterious friend reveals himself, turning what was supposed to be a fun night into nothing short of a nightmare.

Filmed in only ten days, “Into the Lion’s Den” is raw. The unclear sound and grainy film complement the unforgiving content. Director Dan Lantz leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination and shocks viewers with his all-too-real, sometimes violent sex scenes. These explicit scenes, more so than the thriller’s disturbing storyline, are what really make viewers’ jaws drop.

At times, it is hard to overlook the almost comically poor acting by the three protagonists. But villains Frank (Michael McFadden) and Betty (Jodie Shultz) are undoubtedly the best characters in the film. They assume their roles perfectly and their performances leave a lasting impression on the viewer.

Though poorly acted and shoddily produced, “Into the Lion’s Den” does entertain. The themes of loss of innocence, corruption and despair ring through to the end and leave the viewer with much to contemplate. The film is not for everyone, but brave independent film lovers should prepare for the sadistic terrors that plague Johnny and his friends.

Genre: Thriller
Director: Dan Lantz
Cast: Ronnie Kroell, Jesse Archer, Kristen-Alexzander Griffith, Jodie Shultz, Michael McFadden

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