|starring||Edmond Mercier, Sarah Ingerson, Andrew Hewitt|
A man wanders into the woods in search of his cat and witnesses a murder. Haunted by images of the child, of the murder, of her murderer, and by the suspicion that the murderer has seen him, the old man is determined to find her killer. Although the police seem certain that a murder has not even occurred. As the film progresses we’re taken through a series of events, twists, and turns as the old man gets closer and closer to the murderer and solving the crime, while putting his mind and nightmarish visions to rest.
Director J.T. Petty goes through the film shooting each shot as if trying to make the actions and surroundings of the old man as boring and uneventful as his life. A lot of medium shots make up most of the film, which is a shame because it’s not as impressive visually as it probably could have been. The first 40 minutes were interesting and somewhat eventful. When the old man is wandering through the woods in search of his cat and his witnesses things that shouldn’t be there you get a soft feeling of dread come over your whole body but this feeling only lasts for a few seconds when it should have lasted much longer. The director had a problem with keeping tension dominant. It seemed as if he was too focused on making this a “silent” film when it really isn’t.
The director pushed to have as little dialogue as possible. It really was as if he were trying to make a silent film but when he needed to explain something then, and only then, would he throw in some kind of dialogue. It seemed completely unnatural. The police didn’t talk, the main character didn’t talk (he didn’t even scream or shout when in trouble or being attacked), and you didn’t even hear a peep from a large group of people walking through the woods. When there actually is some dialogue we’re treated to some horrible acting. The acting was so stiff and really took away from the film. Perhaps he was trying desperately to make something people would talk about, that being the “silent” aspect, but he failed miserably at it. It really could have benefited from more dialogue.
The “silent film” chapter stops were really ridiculous and unnecessary. I mean, I don’t want to know what’s going to happen next. I just want it to happen. That took away a lot of tension and wonderment of what could happen next, because you know what’s coming up. What’s the point in that? On the brighter side, the choice of music was very good. It was so gloomy and dreary that it added to the dream-like quality of the film. There were some good aspects to the film, like I’ve mentioned, but they were definitely overshadowed by the negative attributes which led to the eventual failure of the film as a whole.
Besides having a somewhat interesting first 40 minutes and the few creepy scenes in the woods, the film ultimately drags on for far too long. By the time he got to a certain juncture in the film it became superfluous and boring. It would have worked better as a short, it needed some cutting, and since there was none it came off as a pretentious wreck. It’s a shame. Well, I did think the first 40 minutes were interesting and that’s why I’m giving such a generous mark but I’m not recommending it. An OK first effort by writer/director J.T. Petty, but it wasn’t enough.