Down Here

By Ankit Verma

Mailed on April 15, 2015

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Dear Dave Thompson

Dear Dave,

I’d like to attribute your editing skills (or lack thereof) to the fact that you were not only an editor, but a co-producer and actor as well. You played Ace, a no nonsense pimp with a total of about 12 minutes of screen time. If you can’t tell, I’m fucking with you. I’m not going to sugar-coat it—Down Here wasn’t good, and your editing made it feel like I was enduring way more of it than I had to.

I didn’t know what to expect with Down Here, but once I started, I quickly clued in that it was going to be long. Really long. Normally, a movie about a tortured alcoholic detective tracking a psychopath who targets young hookers and records their murders would have me itching to press play. You even have the perfect lead actor playing Detective Harris — he looks like the Trivago guy if he lived off a diet of cigarettes and fast food.

Unfortunately, the script is cheesy and its faults are emphasized by the drawn out interactions between the characters. The unnecessary extended shots of street signs, people walking and driving, facial expressions and dialogue all screamed lack of confidence. You obviously didn’t think the story was clear enough so you lingered on scenes to avoid any confusion for the viewer.

It actually got to a point where I was no longer just aware of, but annoyed by how stretched everything was. A perfect example would be during our disheveled detective’s mental assessment. As he was being questioned by his doctor, I tuned out. The scene itself was only four minutes, but the prolonged use of a stationary camera and muffled audio made me feel like I was watching a medical documentary from the 80s—and considering this is where a bulk of Detective Harris’ past is revealed, audience attention is key.

I’d say the only saving grace was the awkward romance between Detective Harris and Stella. How did I know that Stella had a thing for Harris? Because you fixated on her while she gave him sex eyes. I couldn’t miss it.

Down Here has many faults but if I had to choose one as the standout, I’d nominate your editing, which was about as long as the number of search results when I typed your name into Google (71 million to be exact).



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