Viewers face a psychological, dramatic, thriller written and directed by Tyler Savage, who delivers a heavily weighted doom and thick with dread filled story of personal struggles plaguing a man and his family. Struggles and addictions, give a new rise of manifestations however, few scares ever show in this production; hence, while not exactly needed for the movie, it makes the film less of a horror flick, and might dissuade some from engaging it. As the movie sidesteps additional features such as explosions and dazzling special effects, it relies on a story that pulls the viewers into sticky web of secrets.
The audience meets Ryan Bowman (Chase Joliet (Lumberjack Man ), a carpenter who gets a visit from a lawyer informing him of sad news concerning his real father’s (not adopted) death, long since removed from his life, bequeaths to him a phenomenal beachfront property and house worth a few million dollars. Ryan gathers up his pregnant fiancé Isi Rosales (Sara Montez) and heads out to look at this new-found treasure, unsure of what hidden treasures await them at the house, but quickly accept it all to make it their home. A growing thick darkness starts working on Ryan giving him the willies and deepening depression weighing down all his strengths. In addition to this oddness, he meets some the locals that have a few particulars of their own such as Effy (Dale Dickey) paying them a visit, enjoy his appearance and later finding a letter from his estranged father informing to sell the house immediately. Joliet gives a solid performance of a man losing grip on sanity, but not overacting it, and then aided by the support of Montez wanting to help but unsure how to proceed without destroying their fragile relationship. Simply calling the movie a very patient thriller, is an understatement, dark drama themes examining secrets buried and twisted in families’ history, as the film harkens back to incorporating some mystery into a film.
Sometimes in cinema one could state this is an actor’s movie, because of the dialogue, the interaction with each character, and while the actors all do a fine performance, it feels each hides their motives and secrets very well almost chameleon. However, the true passion delivers in the visual story-telling shots of creepy shadows, that slowly grow, enclosing on Ryan, barring his escape, trapping him in a darkness hungry house. The viewer keenly aware of the camera depth and invasion, it reminds one of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960) visual compelling expressionist movie. Many of the shots become increasingly slower, working on the tension and suspense and twirling into penetrating zooms and awkward angles with purpose all from cinematographer Drew Daniels (It Comes at Night  as well a growing impressive resume of films). This tempo carries throughout the film and drags the pace well into the third act with crucial revealing shots to savor for future and fellow cinematographers.
Savage, who made his feature film is his directorial debut, faulters a bit, regarding piling as much into a movie as possible, too many layers becomes a viewing nightmare for many, while the cinematography excels falsely the overall concept leaves much a haunting tale to the wayside. This production as stated early a thriller and mixed in with some dark drama, almost eliminates all frights hence horror genre fans, not open to expanding their core interest need to look elsewhere. One must note that if you care to take on this movie then you to have your senses on full blast and not have a tinge of sleepiness in your eyes, because your brain needs to engage for this movie.
IMDb Rating: 3.7/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.5/10