Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fantastic Fest 2021:The Beta Test Review: I Kind Of Want To Get A Purple Letter

When we heard Jim Cummings (The Wolf of Snow Hollow) was back with a horror thriller set in Hollywood for Fantastic Fest we were like, "WHHHHATTTTT!" And they we got to watch it online and now would like to get our own purple letter. What are we talking about?
After a receiving an anonymous purple letter a Hollywood Agent, played by Cummings, does the nasty with a stranger. Who he did it with and who sent him the letter slowly erodes away at him in the current Hollywood clime of cancel culture. Also, he kind of cheated on his fiancée. What follows is a thriller and essay on how old Hollywood is changing, how divorce is just always a better idea and how horny everyone is.

The Beta Test bites you with so many wonderful cringe out moments coming from Cummings himself, he's the star and also a whiny, little man who doesn't like how cancel culture makes him fearful about saying or doing anything. There's no better place than the failing office of the Hollywood agent seeing the world slowly die with package deals and how so much bad television was made because of them.

*Just as a bit of an extra and for those who don't know, agents in Hollywood commonly would practice something called a package deal where they come up with a project fully realized for a studio. This give the agent and agency a ton of cash, but left the studio and us, the audience, with whomever they decided to clump together, making a lot of terrible shows.  And many people scratching their heads on how things were made. Now studios just give money to certain creative talent with huge deals for streaming with little to no oversight, which is also kind of dumb.

What isn't dumb and kept our attention was Cummings trying to unravel who sent him the letter and why? It's a long way down the road with seeing him fall apart and you like seeing him break a part piece by piece.

Make this modern thriller something you look out for as it makes us keep wanting to watch what this director will do next.

In theaters and on demand November 5th