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Review: THE PINCH (2018)

Ashley Scott Meyers may not be a familiar name to most moviegoers. However, he’s got a writer’s credit on two wonderful low-budget films. NINJA APOCALYPSE, a post-apocalyptic version of THE WARRIORS, only underground and with ninjas. And SNAKE OUTTA COMPTON, a comedy about a group of aspiring rappers and a giant snake. So when I found out he had written and directed THE PINCH, I had to check it out.

Rob (Gunner Wright) is a courier for mobster Kain (James Aston Lake). He’s caught by the cops and threatened with being framed for murder unless he co-operates. Kain tells him he’ll relocate him if he doesn’t co-operate. But of course, it’s a setup. Kain intends to make him disappear alright, but not in a good way.


Caught between the cops and the mob, Rob has to stay alive and get himself and his wife Gina (Candice Bolek) somewhere safe. And get what he’s owed from Kain along the way. And that leads to one hell of a hostage situation.

Filmed on a tight budget, THE PINCH ekes all the value it can get out of its actors and locations. The publicity I got with the screener called it a mix of GOODFELLAS and MISERY, and that’s reasonably accurate. Obviously, it’s leaning more on the small cast and hostage aspects and lacking a large cast full of stars, but overall it works.

The mix of goons, hitmen, corrupt cops and two folk in way over their heads makes for some good suspense. The action is limited to fights and the odd gun or knife play, but that’s par for the course in films like this. The final showdown is nicely done, however.


Where I was let down was the script’s inconsistent tone. It’s mostly a serious thriller that veers towards horror at times. But there are the occasional moments of rather out-of-place humour. Meyers can do comedy, but he doesn’t integrate it well here. It would have been better to have just left it out and kept THE PINCH a straight thriller.

That caveat aside THE PINCH is a very watchable indie crime film. It’s currently available on Amazon, with other platforms to come. Check the film’s website for updates.

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