The Arrangement Poster

Review: The Arrangement (2020)

The Pitchman (Eric Roberts, Deadly Famous, 7 Deadly Sins) is giving what sounds like a pitch for some kind of get-rich-quick scheme. Or, to use his term, an arrangement. In an office, an absolute bitch of a woman gets a message that she’s just lost $103,290,122.76 “per our arrangement”. She kills herself by jumping out of the window. Thus begins The Arrangement. The first feature from the father and son team of director Jake Hunsicker and co-writer Andrew Hunsicker.

From here The Arrangement moves to the set of a porn film where a corrupt cop is hooking up with Amber (Britney Amber, Girls, Guns, and Blood, Is It Wrong She’s My Stepmom?). As this is going down, Detectives Frick (Danny Donnelly, A Place In Hell) and Alvares (Jennifer M. Kay, The Dark Military) are getting a call about a suicide. When she calls her supervisor (Dax Richardson, Last Days of the Saga: Torment) we find out he’s the cop getting hooked up.

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Frick and Alvarez get to the scene and find the victim has a photograph in her hand. The person in the picture is the owner of the company Amber works for. When he turns up dead the next day, things really become complicated. Those complications include Alvarez hooking up with the station’s lieutenant. Not to be outdone, Frick starts dating an enigmatic woman he met online. And on top of all that, there’s no shortage of drama at the police station, and that’s starting to pit Alvarez and Frick against each other.

With all of this going on, The Arrangement also feels like it wants to be a giallo. There’s police corruption, complicated interpersonal relationships, and character flaws galore. And at times near the film’s start, all the extraneous detail threatens to overwhelm the main plot. Of course, there’s more than a few viewers who would consider that an improvement over the more bare-bones, extremely linear plots that many films have.

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Once things get moving, however, things get a bit more streamlined and easy to follow. The prologue makes who’s at the centre of it very obvious. But filling in the details keeps things fairly interesting, even if you have a sense of where it’s all heading. The Arraignment does play fair with the viewer, the clues are there for you to figure out, and watching them fall into place as the investigation goes on is a large part of the film’s fun.

Running an hour and forty minutes, The Arrangement should have trimmed some of the less important subplots and come in about ten minutes shorter. It would have made the opening run a lot smoother and gotten rid of some of the film’s slower spots. However, I will give it credit for integrating the police and horror elements better than Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge did.

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Shot on what was obviously a tight budget, The Arrangement was a family-made, if not family-friendly, film. Apart from Jake and Andrew, several other members of the Hunsicker family show up in the credits. They include art director Nick Hunsicker, storyboard artist Jessi Hunsicker and assistant director Melissa Hunsicker and several others on the other side of the camera in small roles.

Their efforts have produced a flawed but still enjoyable film that keeps the viewer’s interest despite getting too tangled up in its subplots at times. With a more focused script and slightly shorter run time, it would, however, have been a lot better.

Gravitas Ventures will release The Arrangement to streaming and VOD platforms on July 7th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more details.

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