Hide Your Smiling Faces

Three small-town kids, exploring an abandoned house in the woods, find a dead crow and fly it around the room, adding their own sound effects; not long afterward, one of them falls off a bridge to his death, leaving the other two to reckon with the tragedy—and the boy’s angry father. This indie debut feature by writer-director Daniel Patrick Carbone immediately calls to mind the low-key regionalism of Baltimore filmmaker Matt Porterfield (Putty Hill) with its outsider perspective, authentic locations, unforced naturalism, and fresh, improvisatory work by first-time actors. The difference is that Carbone has a much stronger story sense than Porterfield does, which gives his movie greater forward motion than one finds in the other man’s sometimes meandering work.