A young hitman falls for a girl who witnesses him commit a murder. Unable to bring himself to dispose of her, he takes her home and quickly learns that there is more to her than meets the eye.
Joe Doyle (Daniel Zovatto) is a young hitman following in his father’s footsteps. Quiet and reserved, he is observant and careful, making him very good at what he does. While studying his new target, city council member Ed Terzian (Tom Segura), Doyle develops a distant crush on the councilman’s assistant, Mia (Tilda Cobham-Hervey).
After she walks in on her boss’s assassination, Mia is caught by Doyle who must decide whether to let her go or to dispose of her for good. As Doyle aims the gun at her head, Mia doesn’t flinch, bringing him to a crossroads. Unsure of what to do, Doyle brings Mia to his home where he lives with his overbearing mother Gloria (Academy Award Nominee Cathy Moriarty), and holds her hostage until he can gain some clarity.
Doyle’s boss, Lee (David Proval) and his son, James (Buddy Duress), start questioning Doyle about the missing girl, and slowly he comes to find that Mia might not be entirely who he thinks she is. This brings Doyle to the biggest conundrum of his life — catching feelings.
I started writing what would become FLINCH in 2017, workshopping at the Actors Studio, where I have been a member since 2009. I wanted to tell a story of a young hitman who was quiet yet powerful and very good at his job. I wanted him to live with his overbearing but loving mother who is complicit with her son’s line of work. Being raised by a single mother myself, I understand the complexity of this relationship. I saw how hard my mother fought to protect me, and I too feel an innately strong responsibility to protect her.
I find something about families that stick together no matter what so beautiful; this is why crime families have always been so intriguing to me. In a world that is often cruel, you have to stick by the people you love, no matter what. That’s when I decided to explore what would happen when a young woman entered their world and could change everything.
Shooting on an extremely tight budget, we filmed mostly at night in Los Angeles. I spent many nights driving around town scouting locations, listening to synthwave music. Such a nostalgic genre along with LA streets at night lit by neon signs, synthwave music and aesthetics inspired the overall tone of the film. It’s reminiscent of the late 80’s and early 90’s, a time when things felt simpler than today and when great crime films were made.
Criminal characters are very different from the superhero film protagonists of modern day. Superheroes are superior prototypes of us that we aspire to be, while criminals are a version of ourselves we could easily become. Our sympathy for the criminal, I believe, comes from a deep understanding that morality is never black and white, but always shades of grey.
We are never far from our id, our dark side, even as we strive for virtue in an era when all our feet are held to the fire of morality. – Cameron Van Hoy
Releasing a Film Independent of the Studio SystemThe film industry is always changing, but the rise of streaming services and their relationships with studios have since fundamentally evolved the idea of distributing and exhibiting films. FLINCH is proudly being distributed independently, making it a testimony for independent filmmakers that their films can be shared completely separate from any studio or streaming influence. In 2020, and as we approach 2021, we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19 by limiting theater audiences. By distributing online independently, FLINCH will be accessible to audiences for comfortable and safe home viewing.
FLINCH isn’t just any old crime film with a kidnapping gone wrong. The inclusion of strong female characters not only fill the film with mystery and suspense, but also propel the story ahead, pushing their way in an effort to tell their own side of the story. While the film comes with twists and turns along the way, no one could expect how the film so cleverly flips the set-up of a patriarchal savior complex completely on its head.
Available at FlinchtheMovie.com
A Film by Cameron Van Hoy
Premiering on TVOD on January 21, 2021
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Website – www.flinchthemovie.com