The Listing (2017) – Thriller/Horror Movie Review

thelisting

By Geno McGahee

A few years ago, I came across New Jersey filmmaker, Mario Cerrito, and his film DEADLY GAMBLE. Immediately, I was impressed with Mario’s ability to tell a story, build characters and get the viewer to relate to the material. It was a great effort and I knew I would be hearing from him again and now, in 2017, we have a turn to the darker side with THE LISTING, a thriller with some axe-wielding. It was a step up from DEADLY GAMBLE and a twisty rollercoaster ride with some surprises here and there.

Michael Mourer (Bernard Glincosky) is a realtor and he is very good in the game. He is making the big deals, but has not earned the respect of his co-workers. As he gets bonuses and promotions, they gather to note how undeserving he is, with one fellow worker stating that he stole an account from him. Mourer seems oblivious to the criticisms and continues his happy life with wife and young son, living the American dream, but things change drastically after a play date gone wrong.

John Carr (John DiRenzo), Mourer’s friend, drops off his daughter to hang out with his son and that’s when the unthinkable happens. A white van pulls up and abducts Michael’s son and has now given him a proposition to save him. Mourer has to deliver six dead bodies in twenty-four hours or his son will be murdered. As I said earlier, Cerrito knows how to relate to his audience. This is one of those “what would I do” moments and any parent plays it out in their head. For Mourer, there is no choice and he proceeds, making this a very interesting angle. We have a killer killing against his will.

The easiest marks are those people that are looking at houses. Mourer is in real estate and starts making the prospective buyers his victims, but the struggle that Mourer goes through is quite intense. The more the battle to achieve the death count, the more the experience wears on Mourer. He is getting destroyed and makes me think of that great TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE line “if anyone survives, what will be left?” Whether he and his son make it out of this ordeal alive and not in prison, how will he go on?

With a list of suspects, you wonder just who is behind his and when it is revealed, it is rewarding. The clever writing actually gives away hints here and there from the start. When you watch it a second time, you begin to have those “aha” moments and see where Cerrito was taking the audience and the subtle hints he was giving.

Glincosky, who also starred in DEADLY GAMBLE was once again very good in this. He has a very unique look and delivery style that was ideal for both roles. I also want to give high praise to another returning actor, John DiRenzo, who, once again, owned the role. DiRenzo gets a lot of work and there’s a reason for it. He has this natural tough kindness that worked perfectly for the role. I was expecting him to take over and solve the crime and take out the bad guys.

This was a big step forward for Cerrito. His usage of drone shots and overall better cinematography elevated the production level immensely. The pace is fast and the movie flew by quickly. It’s a little bit SAW and a little bit RANSOM, but it has its own unique spin and angle. The writing is where this movie really excels and Mario is a very good storyteller. I highly recommend this.

Rating: 8.5/10