223 Wick Image

223 Wick

By Bobby LePire | October 6, 2022

The worst crime any media can commit is being irredeemably dull. Unfortunately, director Sergio Myers’ 223 Wick is sleep-inducing. Written by Jes Byard and Melanie Clarke-Penella, this “thriller” follows Father John (Alexi Stavrou), who is being shipped off to a different Catholic school because of his ideas. What those are and how they conflict with the church’s philosophies (or at least this particular parish) is never expanded on. No matter, though, as instead of going to the new school, John has the driver drop him off at an address he’s seen in his dreams, 223 Wick Avenue.

Paul (Greg Pierot) opens the door, and the priest asks to use the phone. Interestingly, Paul is more than accommodating, even offering him a place to stay for the night. Though John declines, an accident forces him to be there until morning. That is when he meets Kat (Dawn Lafferty), the owner of the house. She believes John is the answer to her prayers, as she’s been hoping to revamp the home to its former glory. But whose voice guided the priest here? How is he tied to the history of this place, and what does that mean for his future?

Myers imbues 223 Wick with all the urgency of going grocery shopping on one’s day off. There’s never any mounting tension or even a sense of building momentum. One scene phases into another, leaving the viewer’s memory at the same time. Once revealed, the connection to Father John’s parish is tenuous at best and barely explains the hows or whys of the narrative. But, dialogue-heavy productions can still instill a sense of fear or dread if the lines are well-written and delivered. That is not the case here.

“…John has the driver drop him off at an address he’s seen in his dreams…”

When John gets into the cab, 10 minutes into this 74-minute long film, he asks the driver if they “can go a different direction?” That direct quote is confusing because going another route does not change the ultimate destination, which is what is actually happening here. It is such a bizarre misstatement that it is stunning in all the wrong ways.

Unfortunately, 223 Wick is filled with such incompetence. Not to harp on John driving away, but another awkward scene plays out as he’s walking to the automobile. While John is going to the car, the score plays out in minor keys, as if something creepy is happening. Yet, exactly nothing strange occurs until the next scene. So why, then, is the music indicating something the mundane visuals are not expressing? Frustratingly, this mismatch between the score and the cinematography lasts the entire film.

While hardly a saving grace, most of the actors don’t embarrass themselves here. That is with the exception of Pierot. His idea of creepy is more lumbering Lurch than intimating Frankenstein’s monster. As such, his scenes are extra funny. Everyone else, though, is competent, with Stavrou really trying to make something out of his underwritten role. As John’s mentor (?) Jack Dimich is suitably dramatic, while Lafferty would make for a great horror-esque villain in a different picture altogether.

223 Wick is incompetently put together, poorly written, and blandly directed. Most of the cast do what they can to elevate the awful screenplay, but there’s only so much they can do. If one is in need of a religious-tinged thriller, then rewatch The Exorcism Of Emily Rose or God Told Me To. Just don’t bother with this unless you need a cure for insomnia.

223 Wick (2022)

Directed: Sergio Myers

Written: Jes Byard, Melanie Clarke-Penella

Starring: Alexi Stavrou, Greg Pierot, Dawn Lafferty, Jack Dimich, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

223 Wick Image

"…most of the actors don't embarrass themselves..."

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