Outlier (2021)

Content by Tony Macklin. Originally published on November 10, 2021 @ tonymacklin.net.

Many indies are fairly predictable.

Outlier is not. It is unpredictable, imaginative, and challenging.

It transcends its limited cast and minimal budget to produce a quality product.

Outlier is the story of Olivia (Jessica Denton), a woman who is rescued by Thomas (Thomas Cheslek), a man at a gas station as her boyfriend (Logan Fleisher) is harassing her.

Thomas takes her to his remote home on a lake, to help her recover from the abuse she has submitted to in the past. But with Thomas she enters a world of mystery and strange intelligence.

Nate Strayer, director and writer, creates an evocative sense of dread. He is aided by composer Armed Arifin.

Strayer and his cinematographers Joe Faila and Isabel Machado have a good sense of imagery - a shot of a knife next to an onion, a log burning, an axe beside a head, a woman peeking around a wall, an open eye.

Jessica Denton is effective as the vulnerable Olivia, who struggles with passivity. Thomas Cheslek has a good voice as the mysterious benefactor.

Less credible is the character of James, the boyfriend (Logan Fleisher). Olivia says of him, "I loved him before. I really did." Why? He seems merely thuggish in his short role.

The dialogue generally is good, but occasionally lapses, e.g., a middle-aged man saying "Awesome."

Outlier takes us on an erratic quest.

Nate Stayer is gifted with some technical skills.

But most importantly, he has a personal vision.

© 2000-2023 Tony Macklin