It’s often interesting what the independent filmmakers present on limited funding, but Billy Ray Brewton, serving as both writer and director, brings a crafty tale about sorrow and pain, wrapped inside of weird ghostly flick, while making sure to ground in personal self-examination of beliefs. Well perhaps the last part a bit of a reach for an ambitious story, but this isn’t exactly a horror movie, more founded in as a drama, with hints of art-house tones. Brewton places his film in the wilderness, likely off-season, thereby keeping costs very low and using nature for all its worth, especially the nighttime scenes. Regardless, the woods always having eeriness to them regardless of the type of movie, using it all to create spontaneous moments of supernatural occurrences, even if at times it appears harmless poltergeist teasing, however not a scary haunted flick from Summer Hill Films.
The sudden suicide of Paul (Clancy McCartney), who left no note, the cruelest act, fractured his parents and friends lives, some using anger and other flat-jokes to cover their mourning, his closet friend offers to return to their youthful place of campgrounds, by himself, to spread his ashes. While taking residence in a cabin, a brief comical moment interaction from the owner Robert Longstreet (who some might recall as Mr. Dudley from The Haunting of Hill House series) as Jerry, lends just a brief relief to a heavy gloomy work of art. Travis takes the alone time to reflect on his life, past and current loves, and to prepare for a new movie role, by learning a script, incredible this location not only provides excellent cell reception but some for the longest lasting battles even at 1% (WOW, magical devices, it’s a common cliché, especially if ghosts trying to manifestation, they draw power not giving away a hotspot). As Travis works through complex feelings and tries coming to terms with his grief by thinking and drinking, something begins playfully teasing him with past pranks his group of friends did in the past. We, the audience learn of the past pranks by watching Travis watch them on his laptop, including a video of Paul in a very suggestion situation with Travis’ girlfriend, which seems to result in anger, distrust and resentment, the films do more harm in torturing him, than heal his loss. He converses with his friend Adam (David McElwee) and girlfriend Nikki (Corsica Wilson) via Skype and other apps. The entire situation of no note, leaves anguish, guilt, and cruel behaviors to everyone left behind. If one seeks genuine horror, sadly it’s not found here, a few little jolts, nothing too much for the hardcore horror fans, just creepy shadows, light-hearted pranks, and a strange ending, resulting of the dead lost in the darkness and playing a loop in actions, while facing fears.
When it comes to both paranormal stories and haunting locations, horror fans find great pleasure in them, they border on the extreme home invasions, while herein, one finds childish pranks. The most feature aspect for the movie, comes from Hethcoat’s performance, it needs always become spot-on for the viewers as he’s the sole main actor, with 98% screen time, (which matches Blake Lively in The Shallows (2016)) in almost every scene.
First, clearly low-budget but good solid drama, lacking any horror, just because you suggest poltergeist phenomenon doesn’t get an automatic pass into the horror genre, if that case, then Casper becomes a horror flick. The production values all work, aside from unusual scenes and a few clichés, it gives aspiring actors an excellent reference for the personal interreacting for a role, while exploration of the feelings on life and missed opportunities.
- Grieve. Like your life depends on it.
IMDb Rating: 6.2/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.5/10 (as a drama only)