Ocean Park (2002)

Rating: B

Dir: David Warfield
Star: Kenneth Hughes, Alexandra Wilson, Marcus Dean Fuller, Jonathan Aube

This crisply-written movie revolves around the murder of a wannabe starlet in Hollywood, and the resulting upheaval. Who killed her? The obsessed police-officer? The ambitious actor? The mega-star? Or even her twin sister, who suddenly appears on the scene? Each one tries to twist the situation to their own advantage; throw in a very personal video tape that everyone wants to own, and you’ve certainly got enough to be going on with. This is surprisingly engaging for a film without any real heroes, where no-one really comes out with their hands clean – you can understand their motives, if not necessarily agreeing with them.

Wilson is especially effective as the victim and her twin, and is perhaps the closest to a sympathetic character (though when push comes to shove, even she possesses a morality we might charitably describe as “questionable”). Warfield carefully controls the release of information, in a manner which is a little contrived, but works for most of the film. Perhaps the best sequence comes at the end, where a number of the participants track each other through the labyrinthine depths of a lock-up storage facility, and the ending follows swiftly thereafter. A little too swiftly, actually – it might leave you with some unresolved issues – but as far as murder in Hollywood goes, this is what Mulholland Drive should have been like.