Truth: Film Review

You'll think twice about that next Internet hook-up after enduring this wildly over-the-top melodrama.

A gay relationship goes violently awry in Rob Moretti's graphic psychological thriller.

As gay-themed cinema goes, Truth definitely veers towards the exploitative side. This psychological thriller presents a portrait of a relationship gone very, very wrong. But its Hitchcockian aspirations are sabotaged by a tendency towards lurid melodrama that is more laughable than chilling. Cult status at midnight screenings possibly looms if audiences can be persuaded to repeat chunks of the inane dialogue.

The story, told in flashbacks, concerns the ill-fated romance between young Caleb (Sean Paul Lockhart, who also co-produced) and the older, more stable Jeremy (writer/director Rob Moretti) after they connect on the Internet. It’s love at first sight, with the pair engaging in sweetly romantic activities and plenty of hot, torrid sex, with the latter depicted in graphic fashion and plenty of full-frontal nudity.

But it quickly becomes obvious that the hunky Caleb is deeply troubled and that things will go seriously awry, as indicated by the opening scene in which he’s seen in prison being interviewed by a solicitous therapist (Blanche Baker, of Sixteen Candles). It turns out that he was seriously abused by his mother as a child, and his medicine chest filled with psychotropic medications indicates that he’s clearly not recovered from the trauma. Surprisingly, neither the drugs nor the dramatic revelations are enough to scare off Jeremy, who after being told one horrific story soothingly intones, “That must have been really hard for you.”

Eventually, things take a violent turn, with Caleb handcuffing Jeremy to the bed and brutalizing him after learning about a hidden part of his life that spurs the film towards its surprise ending.

From the prison shrink asking Caleb, “How did that make you feel?” to a Mommie Dearest-style monologue by his mentally disturbed mother (Suzanna Didonna) in which the line “I cannot stand that I pushed out of my vagina” is one of the more subtle utterances, the dialogue is filled with one howler after another.

The frequently unclothed Lockhart, who’s better known as gay porn star Brent Corrigan, well fulfills the physical aspects of his role -- this is a film in which the underwear designer rightly gets a credit -- and Moretti is disarmingly appealing as the hapless lover. But for all their strenuous efforts, the performers are not able to infuse Truth with a single moment that feels remotely truthful.

(Left of Center Entertainment)

Cast: Sean Paul Lockhart, Rob Moretti, Blanche Baker, Suzanna Didonna, Rebekah Aramini, Max Rhyser

Director/screenwriter: Rob Moretti

Producers: Ashley Ahn, Sean Paul Lockhart, Rob Moretti

Executive producers: Charlie David, Elvis Duran, Alan Klessig, Caroline Roboh, Thomas Soriano

Editor: Cassandra McManus

Production designer: Tommy Janulis

Composer: Jonathan Bartz

Not rated, 94 min.