Frightfest Halloween: On The Edge (2022)

Director: Jen & Sylvia Soska

Running Time: 116 Minutes

Starring: Aramis Sartorio, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Alanna Finn-Morris, Brianne Finn-Morris, Andrea Jin, Mackenzie Gray

Opening the film, a voiceover calls for "a return to traditional family values" as a senator rallies to outlaw pornography. It's a playful way for The Soska Sisters to open their latest film, winking at the audience from their feature exploring a taboo industry. Family man Peter (Aramis Sartorio) books himself in for a 36-hour session with the sadistic Mistress Santana (Jen Soska), however she seems more focused on making him suffer. As he's berated, insulted, and subjected to sexual degradation, Peter is left worrying whether he's beyond saving from this personal Hell.

From the first moment audiences meet Peter, something feels wrong as he seems distant from his family. Sartorio brings an intensity to the character, capturing how he pretends all is okay while being so close to falling apart. While instances may occur where this performance falls short, Sartorio remains engaging while being the film's most interesting element.

Questions linger regarding what's happening, and central to this ordeal is a devilish dominatrix with ulterior motives. As Mistress Satanna's ordeal on Peter continues, the film dives into the man's psyche as the hellish experience forces him to confront past trauma. The potential for healing through an arduous ordeal is conveyed very well, although it faces difficulties as the baggy runtime leads to the story becoming repetitive, particularly regarding how much enters Peter's ass.

The most unfortunate issue lies with the sound mixing, as line readings are delivered with an echoed sound. Considering how much important information is shared through dialogue, it being regularly obscured is a distracting issue. Despite that, this is a solid piece of independent filmmaking from the Soska Sisters which works well.

On The Edge made its World Premiere at Frightfest Halloween