Scalene Review by Larry Dwyer

A scalene triangle is one where all three sides are of unequal length; that is definitely a fitting description of Zack Parker’s newest film “Scalene”. “Scalene” tells the story of brain damaged Jakob Trimble (played by Adam Scarimbolo), his over-bearing mother Janice Trimble (played by Emmy-award winning Margo Martindale) and his care-giver Paige Alexander (played by Hanna Hall).


The movie starts out in reverse by presenting us with a brutal conclusion involving Janice, Paige and a handgun and then works its way in reverse from there. Playing out a story in reverse can be tricky but in Zack Parker’s capable hands, it’s a wonder to see. Along with watching the movie from end to beginning we are also given the story from three very different viewpoints: Janice’s, Paige’s and Jakob’s.


We see through Janice’s view that she feels she is doing her best to take care of her 26 year old mentally challenged son but that she is lacking the social life that she once had. To free up some dating time for herself she puts an ad out for a care-giver and finds young college student Paige who is looking for some extra money. We then see through Paige’s eyes that maybe Janice isn’t doing such a bang-up job of taking care of Jakob; maybe she’s even abusive. Then we see through Jakob’s eyes and find that he is truly a sad boy who really doesn’t know what is going on around him. By weaving all of these viewpoints together, Zack Parker manages to keep the viewer off-balance while keeping him on the edge of his seat.


“Scalene” is a dark little indie flick that is brutally intriguing and highly unpredictable. Not enough can be said about the fantastic acting of Margo, Adam and Hanna and the brilliant direction of Zack Parker. Margo Martindale manages to breathe such life into the character of Janice that she makes it so incredibly easy to hate her one second and then to sympathize with her the next. Finally, Mr. Parker does a fantastic job of telling this disturbing story while leaving it up to the viewer to decide which viewpoint is closest to the truth.


One disclaimer is needed to end this review: do not go into “Scalene” hoping to see the usual blood and guts that make me a happy boy, go into it with an open mind and a desire to be truly mind-fucked; you will not be disappointed.

Larry Dwyer on Twitter
Larry Dwyer
Staff Writer at Horror News Network
Larry Dwyer has been writing for Horror News Network since 2012. Catch up with him on Twitter at @LarryDwyer and read his in-depth bio on our About Us page.
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