Deviant Behavior begins with the same irony it encapsulates throughout the film. Blackness, panicked whimpering, and suddenly- “dance with me baby?”
It is a new era of film noir, if film noir had more color and less accents. A private eye is called upon to investigate the disappearance of a junkie. Detective Charles Reese (Eric Rodriguez) is a true-to-form private detective, guzzling whiskey and nursing hangovers, and cozying up to prostitutes. That is, when he isn’t tossing them one-liners. In proper usage of dramatic irony, Reese has no clue of the existence of “Walter” and his lovely lady, an odd couple with a murder kink. The pair are murdering prostitutes for their art, and for their pleasure.
Director Jacob Grim (Dreadtime Stories) is back with a new spin on the classic slasher flick where unusual loves and silver linings abound. I was left shocked, amused, and utterly satisfied by the turn of events in Deviant Behavior, a film whose name is really an understatement. It asks viewers essential questions such as “how far would you go for love?” and “how far should you go for beauty?” I’m sure we’ve all faced these before, but Grim delivers in such a way that is a must-see.
The film’s atmosphere inspires feelings of dread throughout its screening, and the prominent red lights do nothing to soothe us. While I’m not sure I would ever hire Detective Reese to find my drug-addled sister, watching him investigate and juggle the crumbling pieces of his life were an amusement I greatly enjoyed.