Mercy (2016) Movie Review
Written By: FR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Chris Sparling
Writer: Chris Sparling
Producers: Ian Bricke, Matt Levin, Nick Spicer, et. al.
Date Released: November 22, 2016
James Wolk as Brad
Tom Lipinski as Travis
Caitlin FitzGerald as Melissa
Mike Donovan as TJ (as Mike Donovan)
Dan Ziskie as George
Michael Godere as Ronnie
Dion Graham as Dr. Turner
Constance Barron as Grace
Joe Guarneri as Peter
Stan Klimecko as Hank
Rating = 2 /5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Mercy is a story about a family and their saying goodbye to the matriarch of the family. There is a hidden motivation from everyone including the dying mother. The family’s already tenuous bonds are tested when secrets from the mother’s past resurface, causing a restless night to go terribly awry as the brothers are thrust into a fight for their own survival.
Mercy (2016) does not have blood and guts except for the intense moments during fights among the characters. It has some decent ‘masked man’ scares in the vein of The Strangers or You’re Next, with the geography of the house allowing for some clever hiding places (the lurker under the cellar stairs) and a nice ambiguity about the number of besiegers and the meaning of their message as spelled out by flaming letters on the lawn – but there’s also a decent unmasking moment which leads to an unexpected character beat.
The Grave Review
Chris Sparling’s Mercy is a scary look into family dynamics torn between two different set of biological fathers and a sole matriarch. It is understandable that each brother doesn’t really care for each other. And what they care about is the money. However, there was lack of story on why these people know why it’s the only thing they care about.
The first act of Mercy, nothing much has really happened. But it is an intentional slow burner and takes the time to introduce the characters and understanding their actions as the story unfolds. Unfortunately, the backstory did not really come out clear.
Mercy (2016) was broken down to two different viewpoints. About halfway through the movie, it went back to the beginning and experience the same moments from someone else’s perspective. It works on many levels and engages the audience. It is enjoyable getting the second perspective. It’s a wonderful way of showing all that there is never just one side to any story.
Movies of this genre is very dependent on its cast but with Mercy no individual character or actor gets to shine. Instead, the story and mystery are at the heart of the movie.
The film never allowed to show the full picture, but instead settling for bits of information and hints here and there. Mercy failed to deliver on some key points, but the story had huge potential and an awesome ending.
Mercy was well written and directed by Chris Sparling. The dialogues are engaging and straightforward. Because everyone has secrets, performances have to be low-key and neutral – but the quartet of brothers are each distinctive, with Godere and Lipinski simmering as the dangerous antagonistic boys and Wolk and Donovan reticent as the less ruthless brothers. The way the plot rolls and unrolls doesn’t service all the characters equally, but the pattern does in the end make sense – especially when the bag is finally opened.
Because of the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Mercy (2016) two graves out of five graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.
You may also like our review of the film, Bird Box.