Welcome horror fans! The Scribblers had the honor of watching a screener for a new Indie Horror film out of Cult’s homeland of the UK! So was this one a new masterpiece or disasterpiece? Old Man Feind is about to let you know!
Sometimes we’re very lucky here at TDBS since some people seem to like what we do here and want us to give our take on their particular projects. We’re all about Indie film makers and smaller bands trying to gain some exposure who think we can help at all. I’ve said here a few times and it bears repeating that we take no pleasure in trashing somebody’s horror movie or band’s album or whatever that they’ve put so much work into making as best as they can so we tend to only cover things here that either Cult or I enjoy or hopefully both of us but everyone has their own taste and Cult and I don’t see 100% eye to eye at all times but we both have pretty wide ranging taste when it comes to horror or music so between the two of us we can usually find something good to say about anything in the realm of horror or metal. A couple weeks ago we received an e-mail from Daniel Valecillo producer of this new, no budget horror flick from the UK called POV along with a trailer. The trailer seemed interesting so I replied back about seeing a screener which we promptly received so time to take a look at something new and different from a new voice in horror, writer/director Richard Anthony Dunford.
The style of POV is right there in the title, its shot 100% in the first person perspective through the eyes of Zack (Tom Clear). Poor Zack is one sad man having just split from longtime girlfriend/fiancé Ramona. If you’ve ever been in that situation you know how shitty it feels so as friends are prone to do (usually only exasperating the situation) they try to cheer Zack up by throwing him a party when he least feels like partying. Those bastards! Zack gets picked up by his volatile but loyal brother Sam (Karl Kennedy-Williams) and friends Vickers (Jamie Langlands) and Mackenzie (Lewis Saunderson) who place a hood over Zack’s head whisking him away to the surprise party at an undisclosed location.
Before I get too far in, though I will keep this spoiler free for you, I need to repeat that this is a micro-budget film. I’ve seen enough miniscule budget films now to better tell the good from the bad and I really have to give kudos to POV’s makers for understanding that they didn’t have much to work with in the way of budget so instead keep it simple, FX wise, concentrating on telling a good story rather than trying to dazzle you with visuals. Also the pov filming style is done well without a lot of running shaky cam which makes you dizzy as a viewer. If you’ve seen Alexander Aja’s remake of Maniac done in this style then you’ll appreciate it here as like that excellent film what you’re seeing is utilized to enhance the story. Don’t confuse this as yet another “found footage” flick, this is intended to make you feel as though you’re experiencing this movie live and it has a “one-shot” quality to it that intensifies the viewing experience. It isn’t always pulled off well in films like this but it is done very well here so it’s worth mentioning. Again kudos to Richard Anthony Dunford for doing it so well.
Zack’s surprise party is being held in an abandoned rundown former nursing home that is being renovated by the company that Mackenzie works for. It’s isolated so they can be as loud as they want and can party as hard as they want with plenty of room to go undisturbed. Early on Mackenzie tells a small group the story of how the place came to be abandoned when apparently the former owner went insane believing he was haunted by demons before being found under a bridge having gouged out his own eyes. Mackenzie adds to the story saying all the man could say was, “I can still see them!” No one takes the story serious and this is a horror movie so you get the picture about where we’re headed. When the groups’ resident drunken slut Lizzy (Tuula Costello) takes a shine to Zack wanting to make him feel better and forget about his painful breakup Zack finds out that perhaps Mackenzie’s tale wasn’t so farfetched. Things deteriorate from there quickly but you’ll get no spoilers from me.
After seeing several low and no budget horror flicks now I’ve learned to look past a lack of funds unless a filmmaker is trying to make a multimillion dollar movie without the millions needed. Here Richard Anthony Dunford seems to know exactly what his limitations are so keeps it simple from an FX standpoint with just some excellent makeup effects concentrating instead where he should; on just telling a good story. I can look past poor acting talents as you’re not going to get Benedict Cumberbatch to star in a micro-budget film but I have to say that while POV may not win any acting Oscars for anyone it is well above average for such a film where, in general, the cast is made up of friends or family willing to help out. Also by keeping the movie mostly confined to a house party people can pretty much just be themselves dropping any skill level required significantly which is a smart move that not enough others follow making films like this. So that leaves us with just the story putting everything else aside. The story Mr Dunford tells is a good one, a compelling one and one that while not the newest idea ever is done with originality where it could have easily been done extremely cheesy but POV never becomes cheesy. POV is beyond just watchable it managed to hold my attention and intrigue me all the way through. Story is what matters and Mr Dunsford tells a good one here. I look forward to what he can do with a little bit of a budget since he did so well on this one. From a pure storytelling aspect he reminded me of Ivan Cavanaugh (Tin Can Man, The Canal) who I thoroughly enjoy so I hope for a bright future. The Scribbler Clock Test was easily passed and I’d give POV a well-deserved 3.5 out of 5 score.
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Feind loves watching movies of all kinds so if we watch it, we tell whether you should as well. I'll share mostly horror but I also enjoy everything from big Blockbusters to micro-budget Independent films.
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