In the United States on America, on average twenty people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in a domestic setting. That equates to ten million Americans over the course of a year. Given the nature and setting of the crime, it often goes unreported for so long that it ends in tragedy. And then there’s the mental trauma victims are placed under. The control exerted on them which means punishment doesn’t always happen. It doesn’t just impact on a partner or spouse; domestic abuse traumatises any children who witness it. Slapface tackles these issues head-on.
After the death of their parents in a motor accident, Lucas (August Maturo) lives with his older brother Tom (Mike Manning) in a remote house deep in the woods. While his brother goes to work, he’s left to his own devices. Searching for solace in the trees and abandoned buildings whilst the elder sibling turns to drink. Their lives are shaken up by the arrival of Moriah (Mirabelle Lee) and Anna (Libe Barer). Not to mention Tom’s increasingly erratic behaviour.
Slapface is a powerful film which tackles the trauma and damage caused by abuse and bullying through the eyes of a victim. Writer/Director Jeremiah Kipp doesn’t pull any punches. The violence is frank and brutal but the real drama comes courtesy of Maturo’s impressive performance. The script feels frighteningly real while the horror lies within the acts humans are willing to perpetrate on each other. Slapface is a sobering and terrifying psychological drama.
Slapface screens at Grimmfest.