While the movie poster would have you believe this is your typical slasher movie, this movie goes far deeper in the psyche of the lengths we as humans will go to in order to fulfill our dreams. In Pieces of Art, both of the main characters have similar dreams of being involved in the movie industry. One as an actress (Charlotte played by the stunningly beautiful Kristi Ray) and the other as a director (David Long playing himself). What starts as your typical ‘starving actress’ type movie turns into a brilliant examination into the minds of those who will do anything to follow their dreams, no matter how twisted.
Charlotte is a struggling young actress who can’t catch a break. She works as a waitress in a strip bar and supports her hopeless mother Mary (played by Barbara Weetman) with big dreams of one day ‘making it’. During a smoke break, she witnesses a bouncer from said strip bar pummeling a man (David Long) with a video camera. She runs over to break it up, and notices David’s camera. She helps him to safety and they take a trip to the beach to shake off the events of the evening and get to know each other. Turns out, David is making a movie and would like Charlotte to be involved. David gives her a lift home and they exchange numbers and agree to work on a ‘project’.
We start to see David’s intentions through a series of killings which we’d expect from any good serial killer. But deep down, David wants to be as good a director and Charlotte does an actress. What transpires is a deep and twisted friendship that will take the viewer on a journey to the very end.
Brilliant cinematography and top-notch acting make this independently made film feel like a big budget Hollywood movie. David Long makes a great serial killer with his creepy vibe and devious smile. Charlotte plays the tough yet sexy damsel in distress to perfection. On-screen chemistry plays a huge role in independent movies as the budget usually places constraints on those involved. These two actors play off each other in spectacular fashion.
There was a point in the movie where I thought this was a run-of-the-mill horror movie. You’ll feel that way too but if you watch until the very end, the movie ties up all the loose ends in a nice package that will have you smiling from ear to ear. This movie should escalate director Joe Stauffer into the elites of horror, especially for cinematography.
There is a sequel in the works titled A Missing Piece. It’s unclear on whether it’s done or not, but there’s a way for you to help fund this as a fan (link is below). All the same parties are involved with the addition of an investigative reporter. Who knows what twists and turns this sequel will have. Will the reporter be part of a ‘project’ of David? Or maybe Charlotte is really the one we should be afraid of? I look forward to taking the journey with these characters again. Highly recommended and worthy of your time.