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By Mark Bell | July 20, 2012

Scott (Quentin McCuiston) is a recovering deadbeat dad and drunk, trying to come to terms with the mistakes he’s made in his life. Actively, though not happily, attending anger management, this failed baseball player wants to be there for his son as a proper father figure, but Scott still hasn’t reconciled issues with his own father, a drunk and drug addict that is about as unacceptable a role model as they come, living in a hotel and generally just wasting away. Can Scott forgive his father, or at least stop blaming him and take responsibility for his own decisions?

Snake is a slow study of a dysfunctional family cycle with the potential to end or continue on. As such, it doesn’t tread any new ground on the subject, and the acting and dialogue can feel a bit stilted at times. The anger management counseling sequence, for example, feels awkward and uninteresting, and while the visual composition does smooth over the scene by conveying the idea that Scott and the counselor are far removed from each other not just in discussion, but in their physical proximity via wide angle, the subtle insight doesn’t elevate it above the weak delivery of the discourse.

If it sounds like the film could be an awkward snore, it is worth noting that there’s a third act sequence that more than succeeds in waking the audience out of their potential slumber and the subject matter is, to be fair, not the easiest to cover without failing into melodrama, so the film deserves credit for at least not becoming too on-the-nose dramatic.

In the end, Snake does say something about the cyclic nature of family tragedy, as well as exploring the power of forgiveness, both of oneself and others. In that regard, it is successful in causing slight pause and reflection. That said, it isn’t really all that exceptional overall, and it has trouble overcoming some of the poorer performances.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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