Tag Archives: Indepdent Films

Dig Two Graves (2017): A Wonderful Gothic Horror Exploring the Cost of Revenge

      “Dig Two Graves” is an indie film that was finally released off the Festival Circuit this year. It first premiered at the Midwest Independent Film Festival in 2015 and later that year at Beaufort International Film Festival, Sedona International Film Festival and Beloit International Film Festival (winning awards at the later 3 festivals) it was finally released to the greater public this year, so I’m including it in the films released this year.

This is a wonderful film that explores the cost of revenge and the price that we way for the evils done to others. It has a strong Gothic undercurrent to it and works really with the small cast it has. My biggest issue is length and character development. The film really could have been longer and from that, the character motivations explored a lot better.

The film was directed by Hunter Adams, who co-wrote the film with Jeremy Philips while the film was produced by P.J. Fishwick and Claire Connelly.

The story begins in the 1940s with Sheriff Proctor and Deputy Waterhouse dumping two bodies into the quarry. It is here the Sheriff is forced to give up his badge and we jump to the present day with his granddaughter and grandson Jake and Sean are at the quarry with Sean jumping off. When Jake panics 3 strange men approach her and say she can bring her brother back to life, all she has to do is kill another to take his place. From here the story unfolds.

SPOILERS ahead

The Pros: The Cinematography – Eric Maddeson did a fantastic job on the cinematography as the film feels like you are in a dark fairy tale. The color is slightly off in the flashbacks but they usually always line up to events happening in modern day and the use of darkness and shadows, especially in presentation of the Three Brothers is simply beautiful. This is easily one of the best looking Indie films out there.

Presentation of Time – One of the major themes of the story is events repeated through time. We get the flashback in the 1940’s with the Sheriff and his deputy and how it ties into modern days with the Brothers making a deal with his granddaughter. From here events unfold as we come to see what motivates the characters.

The Cost of Revenge – The main theme, that honestly could have been done better is that of revenge. In the end the 3 brothers are the sympathetic ones, not the granddaughter or grandson as the grandfather is simply a villain who cares about his family. In the end he does save his granddaughter and the brother succeed but they all die in the process. This is where the name of the title comes from, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” Basically don’t expect to come back and that is what it does as he seeks revenge against them and them against him. It was rewarding when the Sheriff finally gets killed given everything he did.

The 3 Brothers and the Sheriff – The sheriff is a racist (his harassing of the Roma family) a rapist (he rapes their mother as does his deputy) and only doesn’t kill the kids because his deputy appeals to what little empathy he has in him…so murder on top of that since he kills the father of the brothers. The brothers are wonderful as they seem to be a mini satanic cult that uses snakes as a part of worship. They are outside society, and given what happened to their parents it makes sense. I wanted to know more about what they were doing though as they seemed to be living in the wild and were the most compelling characters in the film.

Okay: The Rest of the Cast – The grandfather’s daughter is just kind of there, the granddaughter and her classmate have only as much development to show us they are outsiders. Their motivations and ways of being really aren’t explored that well. This was a shame as with a better written story these characters could have been really compelling.

The Cons: Needed More Character Development – This a film that could have been longer as so many of the characters needed to be developed more. This was still a really good movie and one I’d highly recommend. I wouldn’t call it a favorite because I’m not sure if I’d watch it again anytime soon but it is well worth the time.

This is a great horror film that is well worth your time if you enjoy indie films and horror films. The themes are powerful, the story and how it is told is compelling and the older actors do a great job in their roles, though sadly the same cannot be said of the rest of the characters, this is a film that could have been great if we’d had more time with the characters who fleshed out the world. It is currently on Netflix so if you are interested, check it out. I doubt you will be disappointed.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10

Advertisements

Noah (2014) – A Short Film of a Glimpse into a Young Man’s Life

3017108-inline-i-6-noah-short-movie-tiff

    “Noah,” is a short film created for the Toronto International Film Festival. The creators are film students Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg. The film was created entirely on a computer and explores the life of the protagonist Noah.

      The basic premise is Noah is about to do a long distance relationship with his girlfriend. They are talking and you can tell there is distance, as he is watching Porn while they skype with each other, and suddenly her connection drops as she is voicing her second thoughts. From here the story unfolds.

Here is where to watch it: http://www.fastcocreate.com/3017108/you-need-to-see-this-17-minute-film-set-entirely-on-a-teens-computer-screen

Here is the assessment of the film:

Pros: The idea – A film entirely done on a computer with people interacting with one another through the computer…this is awesome! It shows the passing of time, the different mediums of communication (Skype, Facebook, Chat) and how they limit and increase knowledge shared.

The Time Jump – After Noah does something horrible it jumps forward in time and we see time passing on the computer. This is brilliant and we see how he and everyone has changed or moved on. This is brilliant and is actually executed really well.

Noah’s Fall – Noah has a great fall in this. After he thinks his girlfriend is going to breakup with him he breaks up for her by making her single on her facebook and begins stalking the reactions of two of her friends. After he leaves for a while and we see him later on Chat Roulette seeking human connection. It is sad he is hitting on 13 year olds and trying to connect with a girl who just isn’t interested. It ends with him turning the computer off. 

Okay: The Writing – It sort of has that overly familiar feel of how people would talk in a movie…even online. For example, his girlfriend uses numbers in words as does his best friend…but it is done way too much. I talk to my friends and none of them talk that way. I think it was meant to capture High School of this current generation…if so, dear God I fear for the way writing will be changing in the future. I’ve thankfully seen no one type or talk like that.

The characters – They are all kind of cliches, and think this is where it being done by kids in film school really comes out. They are figuring out characters and they do alright, but everything is extreme. Would Noah really be watching porn while Skyping with his girlfriend and showing her lolcats instead? I don’t know anyone that dense. The girlfriend also doesn’t come off as that deep of a character (same with the best friend), because of this I had no reason to care about any of them beyond connection to the main character through what is implied and pictures.

     This film had a lot of potential, I just wish the other characters had more motivation and were more fleshed out and that Noah wasn’t so extreme. This is still a film I’d recommend though. It looks like it was a lot of fun to make and it is a great glimpse into a character’s life in the modern era.

Final score for this film is 6 / 10