Lawrie Brewster (director of the critically acclaimed Lord of Tears and the Owlman prank videos) is back with a fresh tale of terror: a homeless army veteran besieged by a horde of demonic ravens in the highlands of Scotland. It’s gritty, it’s weird and it’s deeply disturbing, brutal, gory and emotionally intense film that the film makers describe as ‘kinda crossing Apocalypse Now with The Evil Dead’. The film seeks to explore the effect of the horrors of war on the human mind through the media of beautiful poetry and brutal violence. How great does this sound?
Sarah Daly once again pens the screenplay to bring a poetic, and unique language to the script. This is her second feature screenplay and collaboration with Lawrie Brewster.
Jamie Scott-Gordon plays the films protagonist in the dual role of Andrew and his deranged doppelganger – a challenging and demanding requirement which i’m sure, Lawrie has pushed the fresh talent to the brink. He can also be see in US comedy Bonejangles and UK drama Good Intentions later this year.
Within the current industry, it is sometimes difficult for these independent studios and visionaries to get feature films off the ground. Lawrie Brewster and Hex Media/Dark Dunes Productions have excelled themselves on the back of the outstanding Lord of Tears, to follow up with this, their next offering, The Unkindness of Ravens, but further finance is required for post production, score and marketing. You can support this feature by clicking here and pledging towards the films Kickstarter campaign.
The Unkindness of Ravens has support from Brian O’Malley, director of ‘Let us Prey’. ‘What this guy can do with almost no money is quite astonishing…’ Also Alec Gillis of the Academy Award-winning special effects team ADI (Aliens, Predator, Starship Troopers) has endorsed the Kickstarter campaign.
I’ll personally be following The Unkindness of Ravens and will look forward to the final print and further productions from Lawrie Brewster and Hex. I’ll be posting updates and and when i hear from the teams progress, so be sure to check back, but you can follow all the action on their official Facebook page, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. The Unkindness of Ravens should be complete and ready for release in the summer of 2016.
This is Christopher Smith’s feature début and what an impact he has. The film is simple and basic in form. An easy and precise way to break into the genre. Set in the London underground and surrounding sewerage system of pipes and tunnels, a crazy freak dwells, hunting those working in the tunnels, or in this case, locked in for the night. This is Alien. Hills Have Eyes. Friday 13th. But this is the London underground and it’s never looked so grim.
Its as I say. Simple cat n mouse as always. Simple formula but with a new setting and mainly British actors which offers a new incite with fresh eyes and creativity. The film is tense, spooky, creepy and hideously gory in places which are select and not used as a selling point. It’s the atmosphere that Smith creates so well with brilliant visionary camerawork and enthusiastic actors who have totally bought into the roles.
It’s no wonder Smith has become one of the most exciting directors in the genre today. He’s an inspiration and has grown from strength to strength with his last three films. (Severance and Triangle)
The film is not perfect though. Don’t be surprised to question characters reasons for actions. ‘Why are you climbing into a small manhole? You should be asking at one point I the film. ‘Why don’t you run and get the hell out of there’ at others and most importantly, which I repeated several times ‘hit him again and finish the creep off!’
Franka Potente is brilliant as our protagonist Kate, and well supported by Vas Blackwood, Paul Rattray and Kelly Scott. Sean Harris is amazing as Craig the creep.
Bill Moseley and Tony Todd were enough to get my attention here, never mind the talents of Clare Grant and Jillian Murray as the Graves sisters. Brian Pulido has pulled together quite a cast, but it seems he didn’t have a plan once he’d got them. A basic plot of cat n mouse set in the Arizona desert sees the two sister hunted by the crazy religious hicks.
Has it all been done before, and have we anything original here? Hills have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw. What’s the real point here? OK, so there is a supernatural element thrown in for good measure, but for me, this didn’t really work. The religious emphasis is what carries this film, although it takes a good hour to really get to the point at which stage Tony Todd steals the show, with the help of a swarm of flies and a gas which turns people into crazy things, demonically possessed.
Moseley is brilliant, but it doesn’t seem like he’s getting any kind of direction. He’s read the script, wind him up and let him go, and he’s excellent. I can’t say as much to Grant and Murray who fall at the first hurdle. I’m not blaming the girls as they show real presence, but without the encouragement, we have a stage school performance from the pair. Actions and reactions from the Graves are crazy at times but mostly unrealistic. This is a problem with plot, and direction more than their ability which is misguided.
Misguided is a word which not only sums up the direction towards the actors, but also the plot as a whole. It’s all over the place. It could have been quite an interesting piece if kept a little simpler, more along the lines of Wickerman meets Chainsaw with Christianity. But, take Todd and Moseley out of this film and you have even less. Never mind.
Director Joey Stewart has hit the nail on the head with this one. A fine piece of nastiness with a brilliant look and feel. It’s simple and genius in its structure with the basic idea of teen outcast revenge. The films strength is in the perfect casting of top quality unknown young actors, nurtured with great direction and a good honest script. Top marks.
After years of school bullying and abuse, the local outcast nerds decide to take revenge on the ‘in’ crowd; The jocks and cheerleaders, the beautiful popular kids who laugh at the underprivileged and different kids of the school. Enough is enough. Dane (Marc Donato) teams up his underdogs and plots a super fancy dress party for the cool kids. Little do they know they’ll be drugged and tortured until they wish they’d been murdered.
Lindsay Seidal plays Emily, one of the odd kids who shows so much potential here. A stunning, yet unnerving scene has her poking needles in the neck of a jock, graced with a plane white mask for the performance. Whilst Julin is on the other side of the team as Heather, super bitch who takes an acid facial. Julin has terrific screen presence. But the star of the film has to be Jasca Washington as Kurtis, the cool kid who mixes in both and all camps in the school. He’s a strong and confident actor who is gonna be around for a very long time. Stunning.
Stewart has created something quite special here. It’s a nice simple film which pushes its cast to the limits of their ability. Some scenes are harsh, but super original. The use of a cow bolt gun to take out a knee cap is great, whilst one of the underdogs plucks on a banjo has connotations of Deliverance. A torturous spin on ‘Heathers’.