Tell-Tale, Directed by Michael Cuesta, 2010Everyone should know at this point that I am a huge fan of diving into straight-to-video films to find the diamonds in the rough. Tell-Tale (my full review) is one of those diamonds, though really that shouldn't be a surprise. I understand why it didn't get a theatrical release - Josh Lucas isn't exactly a bankable star, most modern audiences don't care about Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, and it isn't strictly a horror movie - but it bares none of the lesser qualities one expects from straight-to-video films. It looks great, it's got a rock solid cast that includes the aforementioned Lucas, Brian Cox and Lena Heady, and it's got a fairly inspired script to boot-- all things that aren't much of a surprise when you see the Scott Free Productions banner at the beginning of the film.
I also think you'd be hard pressed to find a smarter, more refreshing remake of Poe's classic tale of paranoia than Dave Callaham's script, which finds Lucas as the recipient of a new heart that pounds with rage whenever he approaches certain strangers. Plus, I think it's got my favorite ending of anything I've seen so far this year. Definitely worth a watch for anyone who likes slower, more character-driven thrillers than simple splatterfests.