Jocelin Donahue Joe Swanberg Richard Brake Melora Walters Jeremy Gardner
This is a finely crafted horror production by writer/director Mickey Keating that thankfully avoids almost all of the “impossibles” commonly seen in the genre. Music by Shayfer James and the sound effects (Shawn Duffy) are as much a part of the drama as the plot. The music is interesting in that it is often dance music playing during some of the scary scenes—the opposite of what one would expect. Other times, the background usic is clearly narrating what is happening in a scene. A myriad of weird sounds are heard throughout, from a creaking iron gate to voices and screams, to clack clacking, to sirens. Mac Fisken’s cinematography is appropriately dark and spooky. The movie opens on a darkened beach scene with howling winds and turbulent seas, followed by an obviously traumatized older woman trying to work through nightmarish experiences.
Chapter titles like “Lone Pine”, “Sandtrap”, “Life’s a Dream”, “The Damned”, and “Last Man Out” are pregnant with meaning and suggestive of what is to come.
Maria (Donahue) is traveling southward from New York where she lives to where her mother is buried. She is with her boyfriend George (Swanberg) and is reading a letter from the cemetery caretaker, who informs her that her mother’s grave has been vandalized and she should come at once. Much is made of the grave being on an island that shuts down in the offseason and the bridge connecting it to the mainland is raised (i.e., closed). The couple doesn’t find this out until they are almost there, and they are mindful that it would be wise to get back across before they’re trapped on the island.
High drama ensues when they encounter all kinds of problems, not the least of which are that they can’t find the caretaker and the town is filled with bizarre people who can’t/won’t give them any information. Except for one creepy guy who is overly friendly toward Maria and offers his help, but he is shut up by someone taking him away from her.
Jocelin Donahue has appeared in a number of independent films and commercial ads, as well as some mainstream productions. She is talented and easily carries the picture in the lead role. Jeremy Gardner and Richard Brake (Bridge Man) both make your toes curl as insidious characters, one trying to be helpful, and the other truly crazed.
The ending is well done with a twist you may not have expected and is altogether satisfying. I would think that most horror fans will be pleased to see this.
Dark, sinister events are encountered by a New York couple who have gone south to manage the vandalism of Maria’s mother’s grave. A horror movie well done.
Grade: B By Donna R. Copeland