August, a thirty-year old guy who would rather be drunk or high in his dismal Los Angeles apartment, is not having a great day-or life, for that matter. First, he oversleeps and loses his new job at a construction site. Now, his grumpy landlord is after him for the late rent. He does have a friend, an African American woman who lives next door, but she just wants to be friends. When a new neighbor moves in, a blonde, his interest is sparked, though she has a rich boyfriend. He just sort of goes along with things, not doing anything to make his life better. But one day he comes across a homeless guy who is dying in an alley. Rather than leave him there he rents him a room in the nearby shitty motel so he can at least die indoors. It's August's good deed. But as the movie progresses we realize that Augie is a bit more messed up than we thought. At one point he steals money from that blonde neighbor and thinks he may have hurt her. And that someone is after him. So he flees in his old van, which he's been keeping at a friends. But where is he going? He drives out of the city and camps out in the van, drinking beers along the way. Weird things happen that set him on edge. There's VW bug that nearly drives him off the road-and as he continues driving he finds it stopped in the middle of the highway. He gets out and sees what's in it, though the viewer does not. Afterwards, he picks up a hitch hiker at a gas station and goes to an odd concert in the desert, where that hitcher tells him him that someone with a bad vibe is looking for him. He leaves and continues on his journey-to his ex-wife's house. Of course, his ex mother-in-law is there and she very upset to see him, even threatening to kill him if he harms any of her children. August doesn't say anything. The ex wife, Connie (Tracy Arnold of HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER) agrees to let him crash there for a few days, but to her it seems like the old Augie, but maybe even a worse version. He seems paranoid and tells her that someone is after him. She thinks he hasn't changed at all. Then, he runs into his ex-brother-in law, who has missed him, and they meet at a bar. This is where Augie has another weird encounter, this time with an old man who says he's been after him. Is this a malevolent entity or just a manifestation of something in August's mind? We do learn that August may have beat his wife-and was also involved with a life of crime before he moved away. Now, he's returned to his hometown and it's all coming back to him. Eventually, everything escalates to a final encounter that will affect his life or end it.
This is a really weird movie. The best parts are the characters. August a flawed but likable guy I think everyone knows someone like this-someone who is always late, can't organize anything, and drinks and/or smokes too much. Nothing ever seems to come together for them primarily because they're their own worst enemy. The movie also has a dream-like quality. At times it's very realistic, at others extremely surreal, which I'm sure is the intention. The one thing that drove me a bit crazy, though, having directed/edited a few indie features myself, is the continuity problems of the facial hair. In one scene August will have a beard in one shot, then be clean shaven, then have the beard again a minute later. Maybe most people wouldn't even notice this. I think the biggest thing going for THE OTHER ONE is if you know the back story of the filmmaker involved, that Tom Cadman, the person who co-directed, wrote and stars in the movie as August had a substance abuse issue as well-which recently led to his death. THE OTHER ONE is one of those indie films very much influenced by the reality of the filmmaker and is worth checking out for that alone. Check it out on Amazon Prime.