SUNDANCE 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Much of middle America is littered with small towns struggling to survive. In Braden King’s The Evening Hour, a small Appalachian town, like many others, is experiencing economic decline as its primary source of revenue, mining, and lumber has dried up and in its place is a severe opioid problem.
Based on Carter Sickels’ novel of the same name, The Evening Hour stars Philip Ettinger as Cole Freeman. Cole has found a way to make some good money and help his community. By day, he works at a nursing home, providing aid and comfort for the seniors forgotten by their families. At night, Cole buys prescription opioid drugs from one half of the community and sells it to the other half for a hefty profit.
“By day, he works at a nursing home…At night, Cole [sells] prescription opioid drugs…”
Business is good until an old friend Terry (Cosmo Jarvis), comes back to town. He recently lost his job in a nearby city and has decided to return home to start cooking meth. Terry needs Cole’s help, particularly, at the old church, where Cole’s father used to preach, where they’ll be cooking said meth. Terry also wants access to Cole’s existing customer base. Cole flat out says no, and now the story begins.
Terry decides to go on his own with the help of Cole’s junkie girlfriend. Terry’s new business also doesn’t sit well with the town’s current drug lord, Everett (Marc Menchaca), who would rather kill Terry than let him encroach on his territory. As happens in the world of crime, Terry’s actions have a direct consequence on Cole and his survival.
"…Cole’s story is much more complicated than it appears."