Many aspiring filmmakers spend years looking for their big break, a chance to show their talents to the world and to be given an opportunity to make a living doing the work that they love.

Sadly in such a competitive field, many struggle to be given that shot, and never get a chance to see their dreams reach fruition. Thanks to Screamfest, ( independent horror film makers are given their chance to submit their works to be included in an annual competition.

The competition screens films for fans and judges, and awards prizes to the top films of the competition. This is ideal for filmmakers as not only do they get publicity and an audience for their work, but a chance at a distribution deal and future work.

This year a local Washington State based company (lock It Entertainment) called has seen the culmination of years of work realized as their film “Frayed” has been accepted into the competition and stands out as one of the most promising films of the competition.

The film is set in a small town in Washington State where a small boy named Kurt brutally kills his mother and is confined to a mental institution. It is learned that Kurt is trapped in his mind and that he may not ever be able to return to normalcy.

The film then moves to the present day where Kurt is scheduled to be transferred to a facility that is better suited to his condition, as he has grown beyond any help. His father, the local Sheriff, Pat Baker, (Tony Doupe’), is struggling with the decision as he knows that it is the right thing to do, but finds it hard to sign his son away to the care of another institution.

At home, Sheriff Baker returns to find his daughter Sara (Alena Dashiell), on her way to a camping trip and his new wife Jolene (Kellee Bradley) frustrated over the boundaries that Sara and her friends have.

As if his day could not get any worse, Sheriff Baker learns that Kurt has escaped during his move, and is leaving a trail of carnage in his wake.
Torn between his loyalty to his son and his duty to protect the community, Sheriff Baker mounts a manhunt to capture Kurt unaware that a security officer from the hospital named Gary (Aaron Blakely), is in hot pursuit of Kurt and is witness to his deadly brutality firsthand.

What follows is a tension filled race against time where all of the central characters are caught up in an intertwining web of terror.

The film is surprisingly effective as at first I thought I was in for a “Halloween” style film of the psycho killer on the loose. Instead the film cleverly mixes the slasher film genre with ample amounts of drama and psychological drama.

Norb Caoili and Rob Portmann who co-wrote, co-directed, and co-produced the film along with Executive Producer and co-writer KurtSvennungsen, have made an entertaining film that packs plenty of horror staples along with some effective twists and turns that makes “Frayed” a surprisingly original and effective thriller.

3.5 stars out of 5