The Poker Club
Johnathon Saech, Loren Dean, Judy Reyes
Directed by Tim McCann
Based on the Ed Gorman novel
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2009
The Poker Club is a variation on ye olde friends accidentally kill someone, hide the body, and then have to pay the price. This is a generic plot line but this small budget indie thriller DVD is generally better than average. Director Tim McCann quickly establishes who’s who, wastes little time getting the victim killed, and then moves the story at a decent pace with appropriate amounts of tension and smart surprises.
Business partners and best friends Aaron and Curtis, jock and general a-hole Bill, and coke addict college professor Neil have been getting together for fifteen years to play a little poker and exchange the usual male banter. One night, someone tries to burgle Aaron’s home, the guys accidentally kill him and decide to dump the body in the river. This is just the first in a series of bad decisions over a 72 hour period.
Aaron (Saech) is the central character and the center of the circle of friends and it is he who first feels the repercussions of the Poker Club’s action. He is already having marital problems and then the police (Judy Reyes) find another reason to become interested in him. Meanwhile, somebody is following the members of the poker club and making his or her presence known.
Unlike other movies in this genre, this one is character based and not big on gore aside from one fairly mild scene. It has all the ingredients of a good thriller and some good, original twists yet does not quite manage to fully capture your attention. This is a shame really because the reveal is excellent.