Acidman – Tribeca 2022

Thomas Haden Church and Dianna Agron in Acidman. Photo by John Matysiak.

A young woman tracks down her estranged father after a decade in Acidman and the two of them try to make first contact with aliens.

Maggie (Dianna Agron) hasn’t seen her father, Lloyd (Thomas Haden Church), about a decade. Since this time, his habits have only grown worse as he is obsessed with making first contact. It’s certainly fitting that the classic John Williams theme to Close Encounters of the Third Kind makes an appearance. By this point in his life, Lloyd is a recluse. All he does is just sit on the back of the truck in the evening and look up at the sky. Before we know it, Maggie is also joining him in the adventure. Will they find any signs of extra terrestrial life? It’s doubtful–this is an indie film and designing aliens would only serve to increase the budget. The last thing anyone wants are aliens that look like they were designed for a low-budget indie film.

Director/co-writer Alex Lehmann draws on his own experiences. There was an Acidman in his hometown and everyone has that fear that they’ll turn into one themselves. Moreover, Lehmann’s father is reclusive. What Lehmann and co-writer Chris Dowling do here is merge these two ideas into one. Throw in a bid for first contact in the only way an indie film can and this is the end result.

Tell me you made a pandemic movie without telling me you made a pandemic movie. I mean, it isn’t like they wrote the pandemic into the film! But through the framing and amount of time spent outside in this film, you can tell that they kept everyone’s safety in mind. As a result, this film is mostly a two-hander between Thomas Haden Church and Dianna Agron. The two actors also have to carry the film for much of the hour and a half run time. It’s because of his that connection serves as a major theme for the film. How far is someone willing to go to connect with a family member like Lloyd?

Whether or not there is life out there, Acidman is a meaningful story about a father and daughter finding connection at their most vulnerable.

DIRECTOR: Alex Lehmann
SCREENWRITERS: Alex Lehmann, Chris Dowling
CAST: Thomas Haden Church, Dianna Agron, Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris

Acidman holds its world premiere during the 2022 Tribeca Festival in the Spotlight Narrative program. Grade: 3.5/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.