This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Chris Fairbanks’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
There are some stunts here that are terrifying to watch happen, knowing how low budget this is. Thankfully, all the really scary ones - hanging upside down off a real cliff, doing stumbling pratfalls on the top of that same cliff, running alongside a moving car with your hand stuck in the window - are all done by Peter Jackson himself. So, like, at least he's not endangering others!
You can really see the shot construction and editing skill at play here, with a beautifully accurate exploding model house followed by a yard full of debris and camera angles that hide the burnt-out second story in closeups.
That said, the film drags at times, and is extremely clear that it's made by and for dudes in their mid-20s and before. It's better as a historical look into a director's growth for me than it is anything I'll be likely to watch again on its own merits.