Dir. Anthony Meadley (2021)
An aspiring writer finds herself in an abusive relationship and must find her way out.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Dark, depressing, and disturbing, Typo is a Lifetime movie rolled up into a horror movie, and I mean that in the best way. It’s a story about a woman named Abbie (Melissa Hollett) who falls in love with and marries a man named Tim (Guy Barnes). It’s a typical romantic comedy meet, where the two quickly fall in love and get happily married. Unfortunately, their happiness is short-lived, as Tim turns out to be an abusive monster who terrorizes Abbie on a daily basis, eventually resulting in the loss of their unborn child. Abbie must now find a way to escape, and as her situation becomes more dire, she must overcome her fear and her abuser in order to survive her ordeal.
The story is presented fairly straight-forward, and I don’t exaggerate when I call it basically a Lifetime movie, though there is admittedly more nudity that actually comes across a bit tasteless at times. The abuse progresses as one would expect, from drunken mistake to verbal abuse, escalating physical abuse, isolation from family members, and the inevitable apologies. It’s the stereotypical cycle of abuse, spelled out to the letter in an almost lazy way. There’s nothing new to be found in that part of the story, and you’ve seen this bit in “very special” episodes of 80’s shows and the like. The movie, however, contains a bit of a twist: the wraparound segment that bookends the film shows Abbie talking to a seemingly incapacitated Tim, trying to convince him to turn to God while he is unable to move on the bed. How we get here is the question the film seeks to answer, as the tables have clearly turned and the powerless has become the empowered.
There’s not an inordinate amount to write home about in this film. The writing is decent, the acting is fairly good, and the ending is actually shockingly violent. The downside is that it feels more like a short, a film that could’ve been roughly an hour shorter (at least) and still maintained the same level of impact. It’s not a bad movie per se, but it would’ve been much more impactful if it was tightened up a bit. As it is, it’s a fairly interesting slow burn film that only turns to horror at the end, outside of the horrifying reality of abuse present throughout. It’s impactful, and it’s a topic that should probably come up more often in horror, though it’s a difficult one to handle tactfully. And therein lies a lot of the problem with the film, in that it feels more exploitative than it probably should. It’s watchable, though, and it’s definitely worth a shot for something a little different than you usually come across in horror films.
Who this movie is for: Indie horror lovers, Slow burn psychological fans, Women’s studies majors
Bottom line: A slow burn, real-world horror film with a name that doesn’t even slightly forecast what it’s about, Typo is a Lifetime-esque film that is hard to watch at times. The acting is pretty good, the writing is perfectly capable, and while the camerawork comes across a bit more television drama than horror, it works. This one won’t find its way on your “best of” list, but it’s a perfectly watchable little indie horror. Just don’t expect to have your world rocked. It’s streaming on Tubi if you want to check it out.