Patrick Steele’s True Nature starts as a well-made thriller, and then through his excellent polished film from multiple rewrites screenplay and precision directing of a story surrounding primarily Marianne Pascal that finishes in a twisted horror film with multiple thrills shrouded in darkness. Steele delivers a psychological thriller, laced action compelling the audience to engage in the scenes and continue the journey with desire and fear for Marianne’s motivations and needs blending various genres.

The story as stated focus from the Pascal family, namely Marianne, played by Marianne Porter, however her parents are equally involved in the storyline, if not for different reasons as the picturesque American dream. Father Reg (Reg Land) a successful conservative executive, who early on keeps his emotions well bundled within and then her mother, Becky (Carolyn McCormick) of Law and Order fame, as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, otherwise the cast has unknowns for perhaps wise storytelling reasoning. That the audience focuses on the story rather than a main character, herein all the roles serve a purpose and the intent to blend them together just the genres hold everyone at bay for the entire movie. In one night, everything changes for Marianne, an evening jog results in a yearlong disappearance, resulting a return home, covered in filth, physical and mental abuse. However strangely while most parents having a child lost returning home brings tears and cries to the Lord and vast array of emotions, sadly no happy homecoming, and in fact Marianne experience the oddest nightmarish flashes of memories, destroying her already fragile mind. Gone from Marianne, the closeness with her father, now deep chasm voids between them, and her mother conveys the sentiment that nothing happened to her, a form of blinders in place to deny everything. Reg continues to try bundle his emotions, nevertheless like a loose thread, the unraveling of psyche continues, unleashing his true motives and nature, for the family and business colleagues to witness the flies on the wall, representing the audience.

Reg’s performance appears flawless, a talented professional with countless years of experience, however in reality only a few short films to the prior of making this production, sometimes an actor just needs the right script and director to make their star shine. Marianne equally performs the challenging tasks in her role, with poise and sheer passion, striving for deep understanding of her character and convincing both the camera and viewers of her convictions. Carolyn cannot slip away her role pivoting the film, the motherly instincts appearing disguise in darkness as if keeping up appearance far outweighs protection, comfort and understanding for her daughter damages. The character development serves as a springboard for the movie, with each actor positioning themselves with fighting stance, and successfully achieving that moment for the climax of the film. As the True Nature changes the positioning, mood, and even mode, telling more borders on spoilers for this film from Monarch Entertainment, needless to state the horror film starts near to the last 45-minutes of the fill, and they are truly the horror comes in buckets.

This is a compelling thriller with horror, not overwhelming gore, but using the actors, sound effects, lighting, and tight framing shots to make the slightest whisper of words, and glimpse shadows enhance and echo chills to the viewers. No true visible flaws carry down the film or production, actually if one sought an issue, then that might be the genre category as established first a thriller with multiple dramatic undertones, and pivot to horror themes, but also existing in the shadows, and in the deep recesses of the Marianne’s mind – revenge for those that harm her. Truly the script contains many crisscrossing aspects all to engage the viewer into a Marianne world, and succeeding each time.

Both thriller and horror fans are thoroughly encouraged to seek this film True Nature from Monarch Home Entertainment and discover the transformation from a college student to that of a deeper resentful individual harmed by other and even her own family. Steele delivers a quality independent film with strong characters for men and women to truly support, while creating an entertaining story that provokes one to tune in not only visually but engage mentality with this movie, rather than venturing to the theater for a CGI splash and dash.


  • Somewhere between life and death…lies the truth.

IMDb Rating: 5.3/10

Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10

This review was originally published in March 2015 on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website.