Dark Nature

Dark Nature (2022) at Fantasia 2022

Dark Nature has its world première at Fantasia 2022 “There’s no coming to consciousness without pain and discomfort,” Dr Carol Dunnley (Kyra Harper) tells Joy (Hannah Anderson) some way into Dark Nature, as she leads Joy and three other damaged women on a therapeutic weekend trek through Little Deer Lake in the Canadian Rockies. “People…

Bring Out The Fear

Bring Out The Fear (2021)

Bring Out the Fear first published by VODzilla.co There is a careful ring-compositional rhyme between the first and last times we see recovering alcoholic Rosie (Ciara Bailey) in writer/director Richard Waters’ Bring Out The Fear. For in scenes that bookend the film, she is shown lying in a cosy-looking white-sheeted bed – and several scenes…

Are We Monsters

Are We Monsters (2021)

Are We Monsters first published by VODzilla.co “I wonder what comes after this,” says Michael (Justin Hayward) in the opening scene of Are We Monsters, in what is clearly for him the beginning of something new as much as the end of an era. Michael and his family have for generations been hunting and killing…

Those Who Call

Those Who Call (2021)

Writer/director Anubys Lopez’s feature debut Those Who Call opens in well-worn generic territories. Lauren (Reese Fast) is driving alone in the wooded outskirts of Whispering Pines. With its signposted population of 53, it is the kind of town that you just pass through, and sure enough, Lauren is on a long-haul interstate trip when she…

Woodland Grey

Woodland Grey (2021)

Woodland Grey screens at Grimmfest Easter 2022 A man heads from his rusty caravan into the rainy night, holding up a hurricane lamp to the shadowy tree-line beyond, from which a four-note lilt is repeatedly whistled by someone – or something – unseen. This opening scene from Woodland Grey – Adam Reider’s feature debut which…

Greywood's Plot

Greywood’s Plot (2019)

Greywood’s Plot begins with two videos. In the first, an old VHS camcorder films a horrific, if impressionistic, act of surgery being performed in a shed, and ending with a flatline. The second opens with the line “This is where my existence ends,” as Dom Stafler (played by the similarly named Josh Stifter, who is…

Violation

Violation (2020)

Violation first publsihed by Through The Trees, 13 September, 2020 Co-written and co-directed by Dusty Mancinelli and Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Violation opens with the contrasting sounds of loons and baroque music, as a woozily abstract blurring of blues and greens slowly resolves itself into the image of a misty stone bridge over a woodland river.  This…

Hunted

Hunted (2020)

Hunted begins with a campfire story. A mother, credited as ‘the huntress’ (Simone Milsoochter), tells her eight-year-old son Jeremy (Vladimir Ryelandt) of a time long ago when, in this very wood, giant wolves saved an innocent girl from being sacrificed and eaten by the priest Nicodemus and his starving army of peasant crusaders. This story’s…

Alone

Alone (2020)

In Alone, Jessica (Jules Willcox) is on the run. This is not just because of the man (Marc Menchaca) who first plays road games with her, and who then follows her creepily from stop to stop making repeated ‘friendly’ attempts at contact despite Jessica’s clear indications that his presence is not welcome, and who finally declares…

Lake of Death

Lake of Death (De dødes tjern) (2019)

“Do you think there’s an alternate person in people’s reflections?” In Lake of Death (De dødes tjern), written and directed by Nini Bull Robsahm (Amnesia, 2014), this is the opening line, delivered by Bjørn (Patrick Walshe McBride) to his twin sister Lillian (Iben Akerlie), as the camera tilts up from their inverted images reflected in…

Witches

Witches in the Woods (2019)

Witches in the Woods first published by SciFiNow Witches in the Woods opens with a quote from playwright and screenwriter Robert Oxton Bolton: “A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind.” These words introduce the film’s central theme – the irresistible power of belief, misapprehension…