A bit of "Taxi Driver". a bit of "The Machinist" and then a bit of some other movies as well. In other words; it doesn't sound like the world's most original movie but it actually does manage to find a way to work out very well on its own.
It's the type of movie that leaves you in the dark, for as long as possible, about what's really going on and what direction the movie eventually will be taken in. It helps to create both suspense and mystery for the movie and to keep things engaging, at basically all times. I admit though that normally I'm not a too big fan of movies that leave you in the dark for too long but in this particular case the execution of it- and its eventually pay-off is all something so powerful and effective that I just really can't complain about it. I for one most certainly wasn't disappointed by the movie its twists and eventual pay-off.
One of the other things that truly keeps the movie going is the acting. There really aren't any standard and formulaic, clichéd, characters in this movie but rather some complicated and multiple layered ones, that aren't even all that likable, due to their behavior and actions, the main character included. In other words; it sounds like a hard thing to ever be able to care for any of the characters and feel engaged enough with them. But due to the fact that basically all of them are some interesting ones, you keep watching, hoping to find out more about them, as the story slowly unravels. This wouldn't have been the case if the characters were played by any lesser actors. I had personally never heard of Russ Russo before but he definitely is an actor to watch out for, based on his performance in this movie.
It also isn't a movie that just thrives on its story and writing but truly on its characters as well, since this movie, above all things, is a true character piece. It's an exploration into the mind of a troubled and traumatized individual, who's slowly descending into darkness. It's an interesting watch and journey, that besides doesn't ever become predictable, in any way. It just has far too many twists and surprising turns for that.
The movie has a great style and approach to things. It of course helps the movie a lot that it's shot in atmospheric black & white. It gives the movie a great mysterious- and literally dark tone, that suits the story and way of storytelling well. Even though there isn't always an awful lot happening in this movie and it risks to become a bit of a repetitive one at times, the movie still maintains a good flow to things and remains an engrossing one to watch.
Truly a recommendable, full-length, independent movie!