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It's time for Graham to answer for these sins as Michael holds him in captivity, tied to a bed. Interestingly, the captivity Michael holds Graham in is less so a demand for answers and more so a demand for love. Having a perverse version of morality fed to him, Michael fails to see how holding a person captive against their will isn't love. “Love is as strong as death” reads Graham from the Song of Solomon, for both are passion. Michael fails to differentiate different versions of passion. Graham realises his captivity is the ‘loving’ consequence of his perverse actions.

Into Temptation

Director: Quinn da Matta 

Michael: Juan Manuel Salcito

Father: Graham Tom McLaren

Text Written by Joe Horne 

Published: 23 11 2023

Into Temptation dares to ask how growing up with a perverse kind of “love” can shape a person.

Nominated for 4 PRIFF Awards at this year’s festival (Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor), Into Temptation tells the story of Michael (Juan Manuel Solcito). As a victim of the sins and abuse of Father Graham (Tom McLaren) twenty years earlier, Michael has grown up not feeling like a victim of these sins and instead holds the bitterness of a rejected lover.

Juan Manuel Solcito excels. He portrays Michael with the depth and respect a victim would deserve. In his eyes, we can see a suppression of pain. Michael can understand he has been hurt but would rather revert back to innocence rather than address the abuse head-on. Paul Spaeth’s original score is comprised of flute and cello. A beautiful melancholic sound matches the feeling of reminiscence, but also a fear of doing so.

Quinn da Matta, acting as director, writer and editor has gone above and beyond in proving his capability in all of these roles. Seamless transitions between a younger and older version of Michael not only demonstrate this capability but give Into Temptation a cinematic edge where it could have felt like play piece. The film flourishes because of da Matta’s tactful and tasteful approach with this editing and an equally sublime script. It's a hard-hitting and devasting experience, yet it never feels gratuitous in its depiction of predatory behaviour.

The lush cinematography from DP Matt Plaxco, combined with the inclusion of the Dutch angle adds a gothic flair to the proceedings and aptly creates a sense of claustrophobia. The inclusion of a Dutch angle also helps to mitigate an unusual choice of wide shots, which lends to a cold distance from the story.

Quinn da Matta demonstrates that passion can come in many forms and that when you tell a child they a special - they will believe you. Into Temptation dares to ask how growing up with a perverse kind of “love” can shape a person.

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