Screening @ qFLIX Worcester 2018, Friday, October 12 @ 9:30 PM

We’ve been “hooked” on Max Emerson for some time now and for good reason, he’s such a tease. The 29-year-old is more than just flawless, fabulous gay abs and a square jawline… not that there’s anything wrong with those, mind you. He’s also been wowing audiences with his versatile storytelling skills as an avid You-Tuber, model, author and “Glee” star for the better part of the last few years. What more can we possibly expect at this point? Oh wait, there’s more after all!

And  just like that, we are HOOKED on Emerson yet again, this time because of “Hooked,” the sensual whirlwind of a drama that Emerson both wrote and directed featuring twinky bad boy Connor Donnally  and the always sexy Sean Ormend in the leads as teen dreamy boyfriends Jack and Tom just trying the everyday hustle of street life which navigating their own complex relationship as lovers. Think of it as a 2010’s version of “Midnight Cowboy,” but at a break-your-neck pace, with equally as compelling characters and even more skin. Oh come on! Where is Ratso Rizzo when we need him?

The concept of youth is, in many ways, a metaphoric theatre. Sandwich loudmouth angst, pulsating anger, sordid love and a perpetual atmosphere of wonder and you have the epitome of drama. Emerson as a director seems to understand the connection between these whimsical elements. In “Hooked,” our director wraps them together with provocative ease: our story doesn’t seem to slow down for a second, but our characters are well defined and relatable from the moment the camera steadies.

This is raw art here. Did I mention there is sex? Remember, our key lead Donnally happens to be a prostitute, after all. Hopefully he doesn’t get slapped around, at least too much. Or maybe that’s where he gets his kicks?

So here’s the question. What’s going to happen when a possibly dangerous interloper Ken (played with mucho gusto by silver fox Terrance Murphy, “Transporter 2”) takes a legitimate interest in one of our leads and suggests a move from New York to Miami with him in tow? Sounds not too out of the normal for our drama, right? Did I mention that Ken also happens to be not only uber-wealthy but married and especially closeted?

In all honesty for Jack, what does a better life really even mean when you’re already young, hot and gay?

This film is fierce, unrestrained, depraved, but, in a sense, also hilarious. It’s a must-see for 2018 LGBTQ+ audience members and one of the most entertaining stories told this year. Emerson is solidifying his status as a major player with each new project and “Hooked” rivets. Go see it.

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