Indie horror flick ’15’ keeps viewers on edge

Do you ever wonder what attracts people to violence or what it is exactly that we, as humans, are so fascinated by when it comes to murder? Do you want to know what makes a serial killer tick? 15: An Exploration of Human Violence, an independent, low budget horror film from Portland, Oregon attempts to answer these questions.

Jack, a would be filmmaker played by Bob Olin, and Brenda, a journalist played by Natasha Timpani, are offered $10,000 each by a man to spend five days with him making a documentary that takes a closer look at violence. Both quickly jump at the opportunity; Jack because he needs the money in a bad way and Brenda because she sees the opportunity to make a compelling, award winning film.

The man is Edward Payne, played by Jason Hawkins, who also happens to be the film’s director. Payne is a confessed serial killer. He claims to have killed 12 women who are all reported to be missing. His goal is to make a documentary to help determine why he is the way he is.

15 attempts to blur the line between fiction and reality. Interviews with random people wandering the streets of downtown Portland are intertwined with the fictional narrative. This combined with the film being shot on hand held digital cameras make 15 come across less like a film and more like a portal into the life of a mad man.

This isn’t the first film to be done in a low budget fashion to add to the overall feel and concept of the film, but it is one of the better ones I’ve seen in quite sometime. 15 is downright creepy and at times chilling.

Hawkins portrays Payne as an incredibly disturbed individual. Payne is one of those people that you meet that seem to be normal. He appears to be very nice, but you can just tell that there’s something not quite right about. Hawkins plays the character subtlety and with great results.

15 scares you more with what you don’t see. Instead of throwing the violence in your face on screen, the film focuses more on discussions about how people feel about the subject. At the same time things occur throughout the film to keep you on edge. The tension builds as 15 inches towards a shockingly disturbing conclusion.

This film certainly isn’t for everyone. Nowadays, people are more concerned with special effects and the highest quality definition possible than they are with overall quality of a film. 15 was shot on a micro-budget over four days, so if you’re looking for high definition special effects, this film may not be for you. However, if independent horror is your cup of tea, 15 is a film to keep on your radar.

To find out more about 15 please visit

Chris Coffel

My name is Chris Coffel from Phoenix, Arizona. I love film and the Phoenix Suns. I write movie reviews for Trashwire and write about the Phoenix Suns for Downtown Phoenix Journal. I'm also the co-host of a movie podcast focusing on fringe cinema, the Dark of the Matinee. Please subscribe to my show on iTunes. I write about the Suns here: I make movies here: I talk about movies here:

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: