And when we return to Todd, it’s only to find him performing progressively creepier acts with no real rhyme or reason. He cuts out pictures of Amy, prints out directions to his psychiatrist’s home, breaks into a house, etc. He pops pills but tells his therapist he hasn’t been taking them, so we never really understand any motivations he has.
None of this should be the fault of the actors involved, though, as all the leads display a desire to give authenticity to their roles. The problem with Todd is the screenplay does not afford them such luxury. And while the staging and set design are given a polish beyond its minuscule budget, it never builds with a rhythm that helps mount tension. Instead, the story meanders down narrative cul-de-sacs and never once gives us a glimpse of Todd’s internal struggles.
“…all the leads display a desire to give authenticity to their roles.”
Additionally, there is an even creepier misogynistic mean-streak throughout the film, in which women appear to be the root of the males’ shitty behavior. Dr. Miller blames his wife and teenage daughter for his drinking and flirting with strange women at bars. Amy, an aspiring actress, is urged by her friend to connect with a man with whom her co-worker thinks may have once been in a commercial, but the leering Todd views her as an object, so too does the film.
Of course, none of this makes up for the final act that slogs through an unearned emotional payoff, as we witness how each of the characters’ lives was changed by having been stalked by a psychotic man who assaulted them. It even bakes in a vaguely religious connotation to apparently rope in the PureFlix crowd as well.
Todd is stuffed with scenes that have only the slightest narrative thread to connect them. The poster and synopsis suggest we may be in for a horror film, but it falls far short of striking up anything closely resembling the genre. Instead, we are left wandering from moment to moment, wondering when we can hop off.
"…the poster and synopsis suggest we may be in for a horror film..."