Director Damian Mc Carthy’s feature film debut, Caveat, centers its tale on the strange things men do out of desperation and the unyielding and uncompromising power of revenge. Part ghost story and part mystery, the independent horror film shares similar cinematic beats with the home invasion subgenre while cleverly using its barebone budget to maximize chills.

Caveat follows lone drifter Isaac (Jonathan French) accepting the odd job of babysitting his landlord’s (Ben Caplan) traumatized niece Olga (Leila Sykes) for $200 per day. However, Isaac’s landlord, Barret, failed to mention that he needed to be chained up for the job. The thriller steadily pivots to exposing what other secrets are buried in Olga’s home amidst Isaac and Olga’s killer game of cat-and-mouse. During an interview with CBR, Mc Carthy shared his approach to maximizing the film’s tension by crafting little dialogue, how he balanced the film’s ghost appearances and how the film’s lack of budget inspired its tight runtime.

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