First time director Kevin McMullin has brought to us an exceptional little adventure film. Set amongst the backdrop of a quite little fishing town on the New Jersey coast a group of young adults have turned to breaking into houses being rented by visiting tourists. When a reclusive and mysterious town local dies, leaving his estate empty on a small island, the boys decide its the perfect opportunity to explore and maybe find something worth while.
The kids in question are devised of a pair of brothers Alan (Keean Johnson, Alita: Battle Angel) and Peter (Jaeden Martell, It), their older friend and wild card Red (Alex Neustaedter, AXL), and the tag along who always seems to get the short end of the straw Smitty (Daniel Zolghadri, Eighth Grade). The antics of the boys ramps up when Smitty is injured during a night robbery and has to sit out, leading Red to lean on Peter to help out. When the police get involved Alan begins to have doubts, doubts about his ‘friend’ Reds true intentions, doubts about involving his little brother in their summer crime spree.
As Red gets increasingly more unstable and potentially violent, the brothers stumble upon some actual treasure. With a new found incentive to quit for good and get out of the small town, the brothers have to navigate the police, their friends, and the consequences of their spree. Tracking them is police Sergeant Kent (Shea Whigham) who is doing his best to reach out to the kids he knows are caught up in over their heads.
The film itself seems simple enough, reminiscent of The Goonies or Stand By Me, but what McMullin brings to the table is object realism. There is no fantasy here, mistakes and crimes come with real stakes. Enough to make the audience invested and on edge as the tension mounts and the threats became all the more real. While those threats might not be huge on a large scale, the intimate portrait of these two brothers bring a weight to the story that proves honest and heartfelt. The mystery and the treasure hunt is fun to watch, full of double crosses and a few surprises. With top notch acting all around and a heartfelt and personal story, this little indie is one to watch.