ann hale goes into the woods…
I appreciate all types and divisions of the horror genre from killer dolls to psychotic slashers. Of course the high budget horror films are the most popular, but we cannot simply ignore the small budget as many of them are, in fact, the better films.
As many of you know, I am a big supporter of independent horror and even donate to Indiegogo and Kickstarter projects if I believe the story is a) worth hearing and b) has the potential of being a great film. One of the independent films that I believe to be worth your time is David Wood’s feature debut, Till Sunset.
Three strangers awaken in the woods beside a freshly dug grave. Instantly it appears that one of them knows more than the other two. A single note lay on the ground near the three reading only the words “Till Sunset.”
Sean (Shane Sweeney), an angry and accusing man, begins to see his brother and sister in-law’s ghosts; Kerry (Gemma Woods) is taunted by images of death in the shadows, and Beth (Heather Darcy), a schizophrenic, is battling the voices and visions in her head. Beth alone possesses knowledge of what is happening but cannot seem to share it with her cohorts. All three suffer from flashes of dreams and memories that become difficult to separate from reality, causing them to be not only weary of their surroundings, but of one another.
With the words “Till Sunset” looming and the sun fading quickly, the unlikely trio must find a way to work together to figure out why they have been left in the woods together and to face the hooded axe wielding figure that is stalking them.
David Woods has created a psychological horror less covered in blood and more shadowed in doubt. As the story progresses, bits and pieces of the truth come to light but are revealed through riddles and vague comments. The repetitive flashback sequences, the world within a world feeling, and the progressive mental unraveling of the characters are reminiscent of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.
Woods managed to slam a lot of story into a 72 minute film but it does not ruin the effect of the film. While the dialogue and acting may fall flat in some spots, it is the story itself that pushes this film to a higher potential.
With the humble budget of only £3,000, which is roughly $4,500 American, Woods has managed to pull off a true indie horror that could easily pave his way into larger projects. With a larger budget, a few experienced actors and a decent camera, Woods could be the next David Lynch. I, personally, cannot wait to see what he comes up with next.