Convergence (2015)

Rating:

USA. 2015.

Crew

Director/Screenplay – Drew Hall, Producer – Scott Robinson, Photography – Kevin Duggin, Music – Page Hamilton & Patrick Kirst, Visual Effects Supervisor – Darwin Go, Special Effects Supervisor – Bruce Larsen, Makeup Effects – Autonomous FX (Supervisor – Jason Collins), Production Design – Mark Terry. Production Company – Frame 29 Films/Drama Free Zone

Cast

Clayne Crawford (Ben Walls), Ethan Embry (Daniel Donner), Mykelti Williamson (Captain Sol Miller), Gary Grubbs (Paul ‘Grace’ Grayson), Chelsea Bruland (Nurse), Catalina Soto-Aguilar (Casey), Laura Cayouette (Ester), Sam Medina (Brute), Mike Kimmel (Isaac), Casey Myers (Kris), Alyshia Ochise (Hannah Walls), Luis Da Silva (Miles), Vivi Pineda (Lily), Phillip Fornah (Jude), Ashton Leigh (Brandy)


Plot

In Birmingham, Alabama, in 1999, police detective Ben Walls is called back from leave to deal with the bombing at an abortion clinic. He and his Captain Miller enter the site only for a second bomb planted there to go off. Ben comes around in a hospital. The hospital is almost completely deserted but he soon finds that strange things are happening there. He encounters Daniel Donner, who planted the bombs, and was also responsible for planting a bomb in a church that killed Ben’s parents. Donner leads a group that are trying to kill everybody remaining in the hospital. At the same time, the halls are being haunted by shadowy creatures. As Ben becomes aware, the hospital is in a mysterious purgatory that hovers between Heaven and Hell.


Convergence was the fourth film from Alabama-based independent filmmaker Drew Hall. Hall had previously made a handful of low-budget science-fiction films with Skyhook (2012), The Phoenix Rises (2012) and Sons of Liberty (2013), while he subsequently went on to make Nigel and Oscar vs. The Sasquatch (2016). Hall says that the idea for Convergence came to him after a friend died from cancer.

Convergence kept reminding me of Sublime (2007), which featured a patient in a hospital filled with very strange goings-on before everything was eventually pulled back to reveal these were hallucinations being experienced by a man in a coma. There is the same sense of the weird hospital here, albeit on a much lower budget. We appear to be in the middle of a deathdream fantasy – one in which the upper floors of the stairwell represent passage to Heaven and the basement stairs are where creatures emerges from presumably Hell.

It is mildly interesting trying to work out what was going on in Convergence. Drew Hall gets in a certain weirdness factor with strange nurses turned murderous, while Ethan Embry gives an unsettlingly intense performance as the mad bomber. Thereafter though, the film becomes increasingly confused. I felt that the idea of people running around the afterlife and shooting at each other with guns, along with sundry other forms of violence, fisticuffs and torture, was an absurd one. Nobody seems to have thought of the logical extension of that – what actually happens when you shoot someone who is already dead, for instance?

The film perks up in interest somewhat where it does an about face twist [PLOT SPOILERS] – not unlike the twist ending of The Others (2001) in some ways – where the mysterious black shadow creatures that have been pursuing people are revealed to be paranormal investigators searching the abandoned hospital in the present day. The plot then becomes about how Clayne Crawford is able to communicate with clairvoyant Catalina Soto-Aguilar. On the other hand, the end of the film repulsed me. Here we see Clayne Crawford torturing Ethan Embry, including waterboarding and snipping his fingers off, in order to get information from him and afterwards being celebrated as a hero and a good man.



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