McNeil Minute Reviews | P-Town

A Different Look at Racism and Homophobia

P-Town is a dark and gritty look into racism and homophobia but also approaches it with a different lens. This film introduces you into a dark world but quickly turns what you know about the cinematic language against you. The film is set up to appear almost like an American History X, but then completely flips the script. We've come to expect certain stories within this genre, but we are given another one entirely with P-Town. It's a very oddly sympathetic look at a character who probably should not be. Let's take a closer look at P-Town and why it's so effective.

The Performances

The performances in this were entirely convincing and elevate it above others within the genre. The two leads played off each other so well and they came off as completely genuine and authentic. Their interplay, especially in the dramatic fever pitch, really carried this film all the way through. I was impressed by their dramatic acting and their pivotal scene together was incredibly well acted. It was clear that these two had a history and you could feel that with their palpable moments of powerful acting together. The two strong lead performances worked so well in tandem which is a primary reason why this film succeeds in the way it does.

The FIlmmaking

I was utterly impressed with the cinematography, the editing, and the overall production value of this dramatic thriller short. I was reeled in by the great shots of the city at night and the subsequent shots were all so legible given the darkness and the lack of natural light. The lighting in this gave it the gritty feel that really adds to the theme and tone of the film. I was also impressed by the editing, especially during the chase sequence. The shots of the car and the camera angles in the alley helped to build tension and suspense once we reached the climactic scene.

The Script

I wasn't overly impressed with the writing, until we actually got to know the characters. Once we reached the point where we had who we thought would be the protagonist and antagonist, it completely shifts once we learn more information about them, and the antagonist thought to be evil was given more depth and was surprisingly sympathetic. I would normally not be sympathetic towards a skinhead, but this is a very unique approach to a very unique story. At the risk of spoilers, we're then given an inside look at these two characters' past histories and how they're connected, and what their true relationships are. Once we hit the dramatic and thrilling final scene, it hits even harder once we know what we know.

The Verdict

Overall, P-Town is a solid, if not surprising, look into deeply rooted hatred, racism, and homophobia. The film tackles heavy themes and deep ideas with a very deft hand and a unique approach/lens. The performances and filmmaking carry the film as the acting is top-notch and the filmmaking is also top-shelf. The script is very unique in the way that it approaches this subject matter, and does it in a way which I had not experienced before. The writing shrugs off a rather shaky start once it gets into the meat of the story, takes us on a brief yet harrowing journey, and leaves us with a gut-punch. The film is thoroughly effective and is absolutely worth seeing.


Rating: Good


P-Town is a Get It Made production and is available on Vimeo. The link to the video can be found here.

Rob McNeil

My name is Rob McNeil. I was born and raised in Normal, Illinois and I am a 28 year-old award winning screenwriter. I am very passionate about film, so much that I watch far too many films on a daily basis. I have written fifteen feature screenplays, a spec pilot thriller series, and several short scripts. I aim to make filmmaking a career, but for now, I will write about it.

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