The synopsis for The Redeeming states; ‘A disturbed single mother confronts a mysterious stranger and the echoes of her past to protect her home.’
Vague, ominous and yearning for more. The movie centres around Joyce (Tracey Ann Wood) who lives alone in a secluded country house. From the outset we’re given a glimpse into the woman’s tentative psyche, which is only exacerbated with the introduction of John (Ryan Wichert) The young man has apparently injured his arm and seeks refuge in her home. Joyce obliges and not only lets the man in, but tends to his wounds as well. As the movie progresses it becomes apparent that not all is as it seems. The pair, despite apparently not knowing each other, seem to share a dark bond.
As far as psychological thrillers go, director Brian Barnes does a great job of building suspense and keeping us on our toes. Personally, I thought from the outset that it was going to be a straightforward, cliche-ridden plot, but as the movie progressed I realised how wrong I was. The movie keeps you guessing throughout, with both characters portraying a secretive, almost sinister side at times. Think Misery with a paranormal twist and you’ll be close to the plot.
The Redeeming was made with a considerably low budget, yet Barnes managed to overcome this through great casting and good cinematography. The only thing lacking for me was the intensity. There seemed to be a slight reluctance from both parties to be physically assertive when the time came. Whether this was down to the low budget and the subsequent “don’t damage my house” rule, or just an oversight in general, it was the only negative I could really find. However, with a convincing portrayal of diminishing mental health, a decent rapport between the pair, and a satisfying ending, the movie more than makes up for this.
The movie is available on demand from a variety of sources. Click here to find out more
Well it was only 2 days ago, after reviewing The Dinner Party. I was hyped over how versatile indepdent horror can be. Today I’ve come crashing down hard after being asked to watch/review 8 Graves. Unfortunately, it was a sobering reminder of just how cringe-worthy low budget horror flicks can be.
The storyline states; A college reunion in an old South Carolina house goes horribly wrong. Two vengeful spirits start to pick off the party goers one by one. The survivors have to choose whether to face up to their responsibilities or suffer the wrath of the ghosts.
Now, I know there are a number of restrictions that a lack of budget can bring; poor cgi, low quality camera/equipment, but poor acting doesn’t need to be one of them. The film opens with a title card stating “1865. The War Between The States Is Over. For Tens Of Thousands Now Without Sons, The Family Name Will Die. Unless a Male Child Can Be Found.” Okay, at this point I’m feeling it; nice opening, setting the scene. The filtered sequence gives it that old fashioned feeling That, as well as the dated garb of the couple on screen I’d say its a nice intro. Then the acting happens… oh dear.
If that entire intro was cut then the film would be a lot better from the outset. But with the poor acting within the first 60 seconds the movie was a write-off before it even started. I’m pleased to say the acting did get slightly better in places and the storyline wasn’t too bad but it was still a massive let down. There was some believable interaction between the characters but the vast majority of the dialogue just felt awkward and corny with no authenticity at all.
Then there was the spirits. What on earth was going on there? I know I’ve mentioned the restrictions that a low budget can bring, but a good filmmaker should be aware of these. What they shouldn’t do is try to incorporate the basic resources they have into a movie which was already struggling. The spirits are depicted by a blue blur which is painful to watch. There is also a first person perspective adopted when the spirits are racing through the landscape which is a brazen knock off of The Evil Dead.
Overall, 8 Graves was a nice idea and the cinematography wasn’t too bad. Nothing special about the plot really but it could have been a lot better without the cringeworthy graphics. Some of the acting was better than others and I hope that the movie is just a learning curve for all involved. If anything, the trailer is probably the best bit. Check it out and decide for yourselves.
Just a quick s feature on a Sketchbook Pictures short film which is coming your way soon… VERY soon.
‘Bill’ is a British short film directed by the guys at Sketchbook Pictures. It was shot on a limited budget with minimal crew, and do you know what? It shows promise. The camera work and underlying soundtrack help to build tension with a creepy conclusion.
It will premier tomorrow (11th May) so keep an eye on our social media for links