Monday, June 6, 2011

Seconds Apart (2011)

Double Trouble

Not to get all Josef Mengele here, but I've always had a fascination with identical twins. I'm an only child, but I've always pondered the idea of a sibling, particularly one who looked identical to me. Sharing a bond with a brother or sister is one thing, but I can only imagine how much more of a connection occurs between twins. Edmund and Gary Entin first caught my eye with a small role in 2006's horror film Rest Stop. There was an intensity in their expression that I couldn't shake. In the sequel, they were given a slightly larger role that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I didn't see much of them after that. Imagine my surprise when I heard about After Dark's Seconds Apart, a horror film that stars the twin brothers as telekinetic psychopaths. You could say that my excitement, well, doubled.

The film opens with Jonah and Seth (Edmund and Gary, respectively) entering a large house party where they don't appear to be openly welcomed. With a video camera in hand, the duo make their way to the upstairs of the house where a group of jocks are playing poker and trading sleazy stories about their female classmate's pubic hygiene. Although initially enraged at the brothers' presence, the jocks are suddenly calmed and passive, picking up a revolver and playing Russian roulette as if Jonah and Seth weren't even there. The brothers film the guys as they each take turns pulling the trigger, unaffected by the deaths of their friends who do get the unlucky chamber. Soon, they're back at home reviewing their footage asking one another if he "feels it" yet. What "it" may be is never really said, but it appears that the brothers are using their telekinetic abilities to experiment with the minds of people around them in order to understand or "feel" something that they can't grasp.

Meanwhile, Detective Lampkin (MADtv's Orlando Jones in a serious role) doesn't buy into suspicions that the jocks had a suicide pact and believes that they were coerced into their deadly game of Russian roulette. After interviewing several students, he narrows his focus onto the twins, believing they are responsible for the growing number of bodies that are starting to pile up. Jonah and Seth aren't worried and continue their experiment as planned, until Jonah falls for new transfer student, Eve (the insanely sexy Samantha Droke), who gives him the "feeling" that he and his brother have so desperately been searching for. Soon, Seth's jealousy plagues their bond and things start to spin wildly out of control. As Lampkin closes in on the twins, they also begin to close in on each other, leading to a shocking revelation and a one-on-one confrontation.

The Entin Brothers' performances make Seconds Apart the great horror film that it is. Given the leading role for once, they prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are extremely talented actors who can carry a film to the end without a pause. The film really gives you a sense of understanding between the brothers and you oddly root for them at times, even though you know you shouldn't, but it's because of their intense and combined acting that makes it possible to almost see them as victims as well as killers. It's also great seeing Orlando Jones make a welcomed departure from comedy into drama as a detective seeking redemption after being unable to prevent the death of his wife. Throw in the acting of Droke, as well as Louis Herthum (The Last Exorcism) and Morgana Shaw (The Haunting in Georgia) as Jonah and Seth's parents, and you have a superb cast for an equally superb film.

As I've previously stated, After Dark's films can be hit-or-miss, but if all of them were as well made as Seconds Apart, they would never have a miss. With a great cast, engaging story, and a really tense, almost heartbreaking third act, this is definitely one that should be in any horror fan's collection. You might even wanna play it safe and by two copies. Just try not to favor one over the other. They don't like that.

 4/5 Stars

An extra intense screen cap for your enjoyment


  1. This is by far, in my mind, the best After Dark film in quite some time. Definitely the best one I've seen from this crop. I put it up there with Wicked Little Things, Mulberry Street and Gravedancers. I'm probably leaving a couple out, but my mind only works half the time. Medication will do that to ya!

    I want to add what I took from the film concerning what exactly the twins were trying to "feel." I don't want to give out what could possibly be seen as a spoiler by anyone else who reads this that hasn't seen the film, so I'll put my warning up first.


    OK, now I'll proceed. :P I think they were trying to have emotions, or just plain old feelings in general. Or quite possibly they wanted to feel pain and suffering. Since it was never told, that was my conclusions. If done correctly, I like movies that leave the ending open for us viewers to fill in the blanks. It really makes you think about everything you just watched. And Seconds Apart does exactly that. Great film.

  2. (spoilers ahead) i agree. originally i thought that they were trying to feel something, or anything. pain or sympathy, maybe, because the first time they bring it up is when they're watching the suicide video. but then when he meets the girl, his brother says "you feel it with her, don't you?" which made me switch to care/love. But ultimately, i believe it's probably just "anything".

    i feel you on medication. i forgot to take mine today and after driving back and forth for this interview, i came home tired as shit but determined to write a review. i tried to nap afterwards while "watching" Tombs of the Blind Dead, but to no avail.

  3. If I would ever forget to take mine I wouldn't be able to function. I'm not a psycho or anything, although some would argue that, I just have a muscle/nerve disorder that I have to take pain pills, muscle relaxers and nerve meds for. Sucks, but it gets easier to deal with as the years go by.

    I find it amusing that you tried to take a nap while "watching" Tombs of the Blind Dead. While I am a fan of all four of these films, I know how boring they can be for many viewers. I'm a big fan of filming locations and scenery, and I truly love the location and scenery in Tombs of the Blind Dead.

    And yes, I would agree that they were just trying to feel "anything" at all. I think they had been void of any feelings whatsoever their whole lives and were on a mission to just feel anything, something.

  4. I've only watched the entire Blind Dead series once, but I've watched the first two a handful of times and i totally love them. Like you said, the atmosphere is fucking ridiculously beautiful. I always think how amazing it would be to just go and hike to a place like that. But then i realize how easily I would probably be raped and killed with no witness around, so it's probably just better seeing them in the movie.

  5. Yes, atmosphere. That was the word I was looking for in the previous post. I love ancient ruins. They make a great setting for horror films. You're probably right about the rape and killed thing, though I think I would be more frightened to go to Mexico, with all the raping, killing and mass graves there.

  6. Im watching this now.. and wow the tension is insane

  7. They are trying to feel fear, they say so twice.