ON THE EDGE ** USA 2022 Dirs: Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska. 114 mins
Arriving at a remote hotel room, Peter (Aramis Sartorio) decides to get away from his wife Claire (Sylvia Soska) by booking a special bondage session with Mistress Satana (Jen Soska) that starts off well enough. Delving into their kinky histories and unleashing a side of him that he never thought he had, Peter becomes far more unhinged and distraught the longer they play with each other as the session is slowly transformed into a bizarre form of trauma therapy that questions what his past is really like. As the series of deep and unnerving psychological tortures continue, he must make a risky decision and find a way to endure the session for his own sanity.
For the most part, “On The Edge” was a decidedly flawed if still enjoyable effort. One of the bright spots here concerns the films’ association with bondage and kink subculture, utilizing these aspects openly and freely throughout. The severity and frequency of the bondage sequences that take place here are somewhat shocking and confrontational with it displaying not only graphic male nudity and trauma inflicted but also employing a therapeutic reaction to what’s going on through the various encounters with the visitors to the room. That helps to provide a baseline for later on when the bizarre hallucinations and visual trickery begins, seeming to imply that something is intended with the whole interaction between them. Beyond that, though, this one comes off as incredibly frustrating and underwhelming. The lack of context regarding the whole session and what’s going on makes for a rather difficult time here. There’s never a point where it makes sense what’s going on as the film trades on the opportunity to do that with the extended scenes of torture that offers a fine start but grows increasingly repetitive while also forgoing the chance to mention what’s going on or the purpose behind it all. That causes a severe lack of interest as this meanders on since the running time is arduously overlong and never really warrants a reason for being the length it is so everything here feels quite underwhelming as he’s put through his paces and reacts with a decidedly blank expression leaving everything to become quite underwhelming. These features end up dragging this one down from what it could’ve been.
Review by Don Anelli