Jonathan and Cecile live in the New York City hustle and bustle lifestyle with their two children and when they suffer a devastating miscarriage, they decide to move to the slower life of a Long Island rental that was owned by a woman and her catatonic mother. As soon as the family starts to settle in, the daughter Ariel starts to converse with whom she calls Sebastian – a manifestation of a young boy who roams the house. When things start to get worse, Jonathan and Cecile desperately try to unravel the secrets of the house in order to save their family from the supernatural occupant.
So bad it’s good. That’s how I describe my viewing of Deborah Twiss’s “A Cry from Within.” The script penned by Deborah Twiss is solid but the poor execution digs a deep hole of which the film can’t climb out of to save it’s own legacy. Plagued by numerous wacky edits and acting straight out of a Uwe Boll production, “A Cry from Within” needed a slowed pace of production perfection and need to have veteran actor to stop saying “baby” to his wife every other sentence. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Eric Roberts. Best of the Best is still one my favorite martial art films of the late 80’s. As of late, Roberts has been in nearly every damn low budget movie and especially in horror with “A Cry from Within” being just the tip of the iceberg, but his husband role feels more distant and disconnected than the husband should be considering he’s suppose to be the support system to his wife and children.
Speaking of wife, writer-“supervising” director Deborah Twiss plays the wife Cecile. Her melodramatic take on a woman who just had a miscarriage and is living with a malevolent doesn’t speak to the dire situation. You might remember Twiss from her hot for teacher role in Kick-Ass or more notoriously notably her raunchy blowjob scene in the black comedy, not that space film, television series Gravity. Roberts and Twiss don’t ever seem to connect and they’re equally child-like in their reactions to the situations in, what I thought wasn’t possible, separate mannerism. Twiss also casts her very own children, Matthew and Sydney McCann, as her on screen children who are spellbound victims and tormented by this house-spirit.
I also expected a little more from “Cop Land” actress Cathy Moriarty though her role as Alice is more down to earth as a annoyed daughter with a devastating secret. Moriarty has a sinister outlook throughout most of the duration, but her character’s intentions are murky at best. We don’t know if she’s suppose to be a good person or a bad person. The cast rounds out with “Max Payne” voice actor James McCaffrey as Father Thomas who unknowingly shares a secret with Alice. McCaffrey is solid up until the end where, basically, ever character becomes a sobbing mess of hopelessness. Robert Vaughn even makes an appearance very briefly as a doctor and I was sold on the “Battle Beyond the Stars” actor as a silver-foxed medical professional and that was only for a minute worth of screen time.
“A Cry from Within” suffers severely from choppy editing that causes aggravating transitions from scene to scene and this aids in not setting up the film properly for success. I’m still trying to figure out why Deborah Twiss had to be the supervising director over director Zach Miller, maybe because she was one of the stars she had to the right to tell Miller when to cut and when to go into action. Miller seems to be a lame duck in case the film goes south. The Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release, slated for St. Patrick’s Day March 17th, is so bad its good and I’d suggest taking a look because I’m sure you can’t look away.
Deborah Twiss – Breasts – Twiss briefly shows off her massive chest while in bed with Eric Roberts who aggressively goes straight for the right nipple. I do feel that through the film Twiss wanted you to notice her best assets by wearing low cut shirts that show her deep-as-the-Mariana Trench cleavage. Also, the temperature must have been constantly cold on set resulting in many scenes of stiff nipple outlines. Her one topless scene in “A Cry from Within” is by no means as good as her full nude scene in the television series “Gravity” but Twiss emits a hot mother aura and that’s the possible reason why one can’t turn away from the screen. Grade: C+