The Runarond Club, directed by Matt Rindini (his first gig as director) and written by Andrew Gleeson (who also edited the short film and did the sound) is an interesting look at burglary and domestic troubles meeting head on. Although the term abuse seems more apt, there may be much more here than meets the eye.
Two burglars have cased out a house and wait four its occupants to leave. The moment the car pulls out of the driveway, the men, Lucas (Ariel Zuckerman) and Sam (Jack Lynch) split up the house and begin the job.
As Lucas begins going through the house the car returns and he heads down to the basement. Trapped, he lights a cigarette and listens to sounds of domestic violence upstairs. Lucas contemplates his situation while smoking his last cigarette. As the sounds upstairs get louder a young girl enters the basement.
Linda (Asta Paredes) believes the young man in the basement is there for her sister Eliza (Caitlyn Parker) and after asking for a smoke, warns Lucas against going upstairs. Moments later she discovers that he is there to burgle the house and starts to leave. Lucas stops her and as the shouting escalates above them the girl opts to stay in the basement.
Sam makes too much noise entering the house through the garage and Frank (John Depew), the father of the two girls, grabs the man thinking that he is Eliza’s latest boyfriend. Frank is domineering, a bully and not afraid to slap his oldest daughter around.
Thing begin to spiral out of control and Lucas and Linda go upstairs. Once there the situation soon turns deadly.
The Runaround Club is an interesting look at a moment where a young girl is so disturbed by her family situation that she befriends a burglar found in her basement. Lucas learns that her mother is in California setting up a new home for them all as a “new start.”
Clearly things have been bad for quite some time.
Lucas is deceptively caring in his dealings with the upset and stressed Linda. Helping her to look for whiskey tumblers for her father and sharing his last cigarette with her. He queries whether or not her sister will be okay but only gets involved when Sam is brought into the situation.
The film ends on a sour note, a reluctant Lucas does something that is, while making a certain amount of sense, incredibly cold blooded. If there is a moral to this story, it is clearly, “be good to your children.”
Rindini, who has been rather busy in 2016, takes a quirky scenario and makes it work. Paredes and Zuckerman have an interesting chemistry and it makes their interaction and part of the plot more believable.
The editing by Gleeson is tight and the sound of the film is perfect with none of the dialogue being drowned out by the soundtrack. Rindini is not afraid to lose the background ambiance and it benefits the film, making feel more like a “fly-on-the-wall” documentary than a short in certain places.
Flying under the banner of FitchFortFilms (Dirty Books) The Runaround Club does well as a drama. This is a 3.5 star film, only because there are moments where some of the film feels flat, not often, but enough that it challenges the “suspension of disbelief.”
This is a cracking first effort and one that entertains.