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Show Yourself Review

August 14, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Show Yourself
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Show Yourself Review  

Show Yourself Review

Ben Hethcoat– Travis
Corsica Wilson– Nikki
Barak Hardley– Lane
Stephen Cone– Daniel
Clancy McCartney– Paul
Robert Longstreet– Jerry

Directed by Billy Ray Brewton
Screenplay by Billy Ray Brewton

Distributed by Summer Hill Entertainment

Runtime– 78 minutes

Buy it here


Show Yourself, written and directed by Billy Ray Brewton, is one of those slow burn horror thrillers that could easily shave off ten minutes and still be effective. It has an interesting story and a terrific performance by lead actor Ben Hethcoat, but it drags a bit too much at times and could use a few more scares. The scares we do get are well done (and one of them will cause you to jump out of your seat), I just wish there were like two more. The movie isn’t lifeless, but it sure as heck could use a little more life.

Ben Hethcoat stars as Travis, an actor/director/celebrity of some sort who is heading out to the woods to scatter the ashes of his dead best friend Paul (Clancy McCartney, who we see via home video flashbacks). Doing this ash spreading thing is seen as both a great thing and a bad thing by the people in Travis’s inner circle, including friends, colleagues, and a sort of girlfriend named Nikki (Corsica Wilson). Everyone thinks it’s great that Travis is out in the woods, fulfilling his dead friend’s final wishes, but everyone also seems to be worried about Travis and how Paul’s death has, maybe, messed with his mind. Paul died under somewhat mysterious circumstances, and Travis apparently didn’t go to Paul’s funeral, which annoyed some of Travis’ friends. Just what the heck is going on with Travis?

So Travis hangs out at the house in the woods, spending time with Paul’s ashes, talking with friends and business colleagues via phone and the internets, and just sort of waiting for the right time to start spreading Paul’s ashes. Travis doesn’t seem too keen on hurrying shit up at first, but then, as he starts talking to more of his friends and colleagues about Paul, a new project he’s working on, and more, weird stuff starts to happen. In fact, Travis starts to think he sees Paul all over the place, off in the distance and whatnot. But that isn’t possible. Paul’s dead. So what the hell is Travis seeing?

And that’s pretty much the entire movie. Travis is alone, he starts talking to people via his phone or computer, and then weird stuff starts to happen. There are flashbacks to various events in Travis’s past, along with Paul, and they sort of inform the weird stuff that happens to Travis as the movie goes on. There are also moments of supernatural what have you that freak out Travis because, well, are they actually happening or is it just his imagination? Are the house and the woods haunted? Just what the hell is going on?

As I said at the beginning, Show Yourself takes its sweet time getting to where it wants to go, and while there’s nothing essentially wrong with that approach, I do think that Show Yourself should be quicker and have a few more scares. We don’t need too many scares or too many more horror moments, but the last quarter or so of the movie could have used a little more life to it. There are scenes in the woods at the end that are freaky as hell, and there’s a moment where Travis loses it by his tent that will make you jump. Director Brewton knows how to build up to a scare. At the same time, there’s just too much talking. I understand why, in a sense, there’s so much talking, but at the same time there’s nothing wrong with just getting on with it.

Now, that criticism seems weird when you look at the movie’s running time of barely eighty minutes, but it’s true, the movie could easily lose ten minutes and still work. I’m not sure how the movie would find those ten minutes, but the movie needs to be even leaner. Or, again, it needs to generate a few more scares. It needs to be scarier or there needs to be less of it.


Ben Hethcoat does a fabulous job as Travis. He’s in every scene and basically has to carry the whole thing, not the easiest thing to do in any kind of movie. He knows how to act with and against IPhones and computer screens, and he knows how to interact with, well, nothing. And even when the movie drags, Hethcoat works hard to make what he’s doing interesting, and, for the most part, it works.

The only other actor who has any major screen time and who interacts with Hethcoat is Robert Longstreet, who plays Jerry, the guy who runs/administers the house in the woods Travis stays at. Jerry is a hilarious grouch and the kind of guy who isn’t impressed by artists and pretentious bullshit. As soon as you see him you like him immediately. The movie could have used more of him in it.

Corsica Wilson does an interesting job as Nikki, the girlfriend of Travis. She interacts with Travis via screen and does the concerned girlfriend thing quite well. And Barak Hardley does a great job as Travis’s friend Lane. Lane is kind of a goofball and adds some humor to the proceedings. The movie could have used one more scene with him.

And then there’s Stephen Cone as Daniel, the artist guy that Travis interacts with. Daniel seems so detached from what the heck is going on and comes off as a guy who would rather be doing something else besides talking to Travis. His interaction with Travis in the woods, where he believes he sees something strange in the dark, is a scene that should live on YouTube forever. I also would just use that scene as the movie’s trailer.

Despite my issues with the pacing and the running time, I liked Show Yourself quite a bit. It’s a movie that, if you like slow burn horror thrillers, you should absolutely check out. Maybe the pacing and the running time will work for you. Otherwise, it’s imperfect, but definitely worth seeing.

See Show Yourself. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Sort of 1.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Driving, home video hooey, a phone message, an extended conversation on a phone, water drinking, bunk beds, some sort of Spanish TV show, more home video hooey, walking around in the dark for some reason, an urn that may have moved on its own, swimming, a potential hallucination, potential emotional issues, talk of re-writes, phantom door knocking, computer hacking via ghost, barfing, name tag changing, tent in the woods hooey, wood collecting, a virtual fire via IPad, a phone argument, a jog in the woods, e-mail writing, eyebrow shaving, even more home video hooey, drinking in the woods, flashback home video dreams, a creepy as hell text message scene, tent hooey, shadow suicide, running, tripping, falling, and an ending that will either scare the crap out of you or confuse you to no end.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: The woods, a guy talking to screens, a video where people try to make a snowman, guy talking to a dead friend in an urn, Shakespeare, a video of a guy fucking around with a rake, Facetime tandem driving, a verbal takedown of Mike, ghost hooey, a split screen, movie trivia, “It’s not a tumor!,” video of a trip to India, a Bigfoot joke, and an ending that will either scare the crap out of you or confuse you to no end.

Best lines: “Do not make me track you down. Okay? It’ll piss me off and it always ends the same way,” “God, you’re awful,” “Please stop talking to our dead friend like that. It’s creepy,” “I thought you said you weren’t going to do any more remakes?,” “Hey, have fun burying our dead friend,” “I fucking hate bourbon,” “And we were so close to catharsis,” “Why are you in the woods?,” “Don’t start comparing grief,” “I’m not a villain here, Travis, even if you need one,” “I love you, too, Travis, but I just don’t like you very much right now,” “Something’s really, really wrong,” “I can’t leave,” “I’ve gotta do it for Paul,” “Today is going to be a normal day,” “It’s not too early to drink, is it?,” “So, I’ve got to ask about the eyebrow,” “Do you believe in ghosts?,” “I still think you should get out of there,” “Travis, do you need me to call someone?,” “You’re not Paul. You’re not Paul. You’re not Paul,” and “Hey.”

The final score: review Good
The 411
Show Yourself is one of those slow burn horror thrillers that could use some cutting, just to make it faster. It also could use a few more scares. In its current state, it’s imperfect, but at the same time it kind of works. Ben Hethcoat gives a terrific performance as he’s in just about every scene and has to carry the thing, and director Billy Ray Brewton knows how to build to a scare. I just wish there more of them. Again, it’s imperfect, but Show Yourself is definitely worth seeing. Track it down and see it.

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Show Yourself, Bryan Kristopowitz