Bryan Singer: His Films Ranked From Worst To Best

9. Public Access

X2 poster
Occidental Studios Cinemabeam

Probably the least widely seen film of Bryan Singer's career, his 1993 feature debut is also one of his more perplexing works. A blend of politically-charged indie drama and psychological thriller, Public Access makes for intriguing yet ultimately frustrating viewing.

Ron Marquette takes the lead as Whiley Pritcher, a charismatic yet enigmatic stranger who suddenly shows up in quaint middle-American town Brewster and sets up shop at the local public access TV station. Here he hosts a show in which he asks townspeople, "What's wrong with Brewster?", encouraging locals to call in and air their grievances with the community.

It's a slow-burning drama which plays its cards very close to its chest, which proves compelling for the first half hour or so. However, Whiley's motives remain unclear throughout, and by the final act things take a somewhat wild turn in a more horrific direction, which jars somewhat with that which went before.

Clearly made on a far lower budget than anything Singer has made since, Public Access is visually striking, with highly atmospheric camerawork, lighting and editing. Still, there's no avoiding the sense that the bulk of this is mere surface sheen, with very little bearing on the story; and the story itself, under close inspection, really doesn't make a great deal of sense.

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