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Advance Review – Meet Me There

Poster for Lex Lybrand's Meet Me There.

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Meet Me There sees Ada and Cal trekking back to Ada’s hometown at the behest of their couple’s therapist. Ada is seeking closure for some sort of trauma from her past that hinders her ability to be intimate with Cal. The moment they pull into town, the pair are harassed by the locals and even find Ada’s family to be somewhat off-putting. As she searches for closure, Ada finds more questions than answers. And she and Cal quickly realize that their very existence is in jeopardy if they don’t head back from where they came.

Meet Me There is the kind of film one must allow to sink in before passing judgment. It stayed with me for a while after watching it and I didn’t form a concrete opinion until I had taken some time to mull it over and weigh the picture’s collective merits.

Though Meet Me There is easily identifiable as a micro-budget flick it makes the most of its limited budgetary funds. In spite of the fact that this film looks like it was shot on a flip cam and most of the dialogue sounds like it was looped in post, director Lex Lybrand is able to work with his talented cast to bring their characters to life in a mostly convincing and ultimately endearing way. Meet Me There marks Lybrand’s sophomore feature film directorial effort but it is helmed with an ease that belies his lack of time behind the lens.

Lybrand directed Meet Me There from a script penned by first time screenwriters Brandon Stroud and Destiny D. Talley. The pair have put together a screenplay that while occasionally derivative of superior films, it still packs plenty of punches.

The film is deliberately paced. But what justifies that is the well developed characters with an endearing relationship that viewers will cherish. Slow burn works when the characters are likable and easy to spend time with. And Meet Me There introduces viewers to two very likable leads.

Newcomer Michael Foulk is excellent as Ada’s extremely supportive hipster boyfriend Calvin. He is an average guy with whom most viewers should be easily be able to relate. Lisa Friedrich is surprisingly competent in her feature film debut. She convincingly portrays a young woman badly damaged by her past and desperately searching for answers.

What bothered me about the film is that when all is said and done, it leaves too much to the imagination. I enjoy a picture that leaves some unanswered questions – for example, Kill List – but Meet Me There provides even less backstory on certain pivotal goings on  than Kill List. But I am willing to pardon the film’s secrecy as it does a solid job of keeping its audience entertained and curious as to where the final act will leave our leads.

My other primary complaint with the current cut of Meet Me There – this is a rough cut, so it may change before the film is released commercially – is that there are a couple of scenes that bear little to no impact on the final outcome of the film. The sequence where Cal first stops at a filling station and encounters a young man that suggests they’ve met before could have been safely cut from the film with no foreseeable detriment to its outcome. There are a couple of other scenes that read as entirely extraneous as well.

Ultimately, I recommend you checking out Meet Me There. If you are fond of films like The House of the Devil or Kill List there is a high probability that you will enjoy this title.

Meet Me There is now touring the festival circuit. No word has been released in regard to stateside distribtuion but we will keep you in the loop as new developments are announced.

WICKED RATING: 6.5/10  [usr 6.5]
IMDb Rating: IMDb
Director(s): Lex Lybrand
Writer(s): Brandon Stroud, Destiny D Talley
Stars: Lisa Friedrich, Micheal Foulk, Dustin Runnels
Year: 2014
Language: English
Length: 93 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Backwoods Horror

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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dogs, and cat hat(s).
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