Athena (2017)

Starring Matthew Ewald, Vanelle, Michael Melendez

Directed by Robert W. Filion

The reminder of a loved one after they’ve passed can actually be a very healing element when it comes to the attempt to overcome grief – be it a song you both shared, or pictures you’ve taken together, maybe even the sight of them in a dream, but for one man, the never-ending chatter in his brain after the death of his wife could very well drive him over the edge for good.

Athena, directed by Robert W. Filion, tells the story of Carl (Ewald), a guy whose life has never been the same since the tragic death of his wife, and his miserable existence is compounded by a female voice, forever echoing in his mind. However, she seems to genuinely want to right his wayward course, right down to pumping up his ego to speak to the woman who he’s had his eye on for some time. His interest is Emily (Vanelle), and she’s a successful pharmacist, albeit another poor soul who has her share of mental shortcomings, but the prospect of the pair together is one that intrigues Carl…and oddly enough, the voice in his mind known to him as Athena. As time rolls along, it’s becoming apparent that Carl’s heath is in serious jeopardy, with blood running like a leaky faucet out of his nose and screeching noises emanating in his already damaged ear canals, the guy’s got issues abound.

Emily remains hopeful in the notion that maybe Carl will come around as well, and it’s not long before Athena sifts her way into Emily’s mind also – can’t this chick mind her own business? The question that needs answering here is this: does Athena have the couple’s best interests in mind, or is this disembodied voice only plan on ruining two lives instead of only one? Believe me when I tell you, this one goes off the rails in a hurry, and you’ll more than likely be scratching the flesh off of your skulls trying to decipher this puzzler. Both Ewald and Vanelle are exceptionally good in the portrayals of two traumatized individuals, and to watch them deal with their shortcomings is interesting, to say the least. If it’s blood you’re after, you’ll appreciate the moderate crimson flow, but don’t expect much out of the scattered plot – while confusing to some, there is a spine to it and although cohesion isn’t the strongest point, it’s par for the course. I truly think that Athena is one of those films that intently wants to destroy our brainpans, and I’ll continue to ruminate about it while I’m downing the rest of my six-pack…trust me, it helps me think.

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Matt Boiselle

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