‘Exemplum’ Review- Don’t Miss This Indie Thriller

Exemplum is an indie thriller from Palindrome Pictures and the brainchild of Paul Roland, who wrote, directed, edited, co-produced, and starred in the film. Roland also won Best Director at the 2022 Pasadena International Film Festival.

Father Colin (Paul Roland) is a YouTube sensation with his show “Exemplum” where he illustrates morality tales that are inspired by secretly recorded sessions with his congregation. However, he grows frustrated when he is informed by Father Liam (Francis Cronin) that the bishop has canceled his show and will transfer Colin to an isolated community. Colin desperately turns to a wealthy parishioner Louie (Joseph Griffin) for help but is turned away. After meeting an attractive neighbor Lilly (Brittany Lewis), he is contacted by a hacker who claims he can help Father Colin get revenge, but it may cost him his soul.

Going into an indie film, no matter the genre, you do not know what to expect. This time, I was pleasantly surprised that it lived up to being a thriller that kept you on the edge of your seat.

The themes of good versus evil, the saint versus sinner, light versus dark, and faith versus fortune are all entwined. It does not go the way of exposition dumps or obvious tropes to get its point across. Instead, the film uses its plot and character development to present its theme. This made it a refreshing break from the “in your face” attitude major studios are pushing.

As for the acting, everyone brings their A-game to the movie. The cast jumped into their roles and held back nothing, delivering some realistic and visceral performances. I believe Brittany Lewis was nominated for an award for her role and it was well-deserved.

I have a few minor gripes which include places where I felt the pacing slowed a bit. It was no particular scene, but just one or two moments where it pumped the breaks. I also would have liked to have seen a confrontation between Father Colin and the Bishop. The latter is never seen and I think a standoff would have been interesting.

Aside from that, you can see how much went into its production. The cinematography from Vlad Ionescu was in line with the moment and showed us the world in between. Same with the music by Andrew Halpin, it truly pulled you into the scenes, delivering some chills.

Bottom line, Exemplum is an indie thriller that you do not want to miss. It will pull you in and you’ll hang on to every moment.

Check out the trailer below:

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and The Black Phone. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

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In full disclosure, I know Paul Roland personally and he helped edit a short story I wrote, but that in no way reflects on this review.

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