Film Review: Revenant (2012)

SYNOPSIS:

When Paul, an unemployed writer, decides to rent and live in a house that’s rumored to be haunted, he puts his life and his relationships in grave danger as he obsessively attempts to get the story that will finally make his career.

REVIEW:

“Something are better left alone”. This should be the tag line for this new haunted thriller from the team of “2 Man Production”. Revenant is a new film for 2012 which should not be confused with the other release coming out titled “The Revenant (2009)”. “Revenant” Is a 93 minute independent feature starring writer Stephen Twardokus as Paul (Note: Stephen Twardokus also penned the script)

Paul is a wannabe author who never stuck with anything long enough to finish. His latest idea is sparked when he hears of a house for rent, a house that is known to be haunted. Paul moves in with his girlfriend Stella (Liesel Kopp) first simply as thrill-seekers hoping that they will experience “some” form of paranormal encounter while living there. The couple are like most of us,….wanting that “qualifying” supernatural experience, just to say they have. They even take it so far as to decorate the house “like” it used to be (from newspaper photographs) However, the film takes the notion of “careful what you wish for” pretty serious as the couple get exactly what they ask for.

Like in the vein of the film “Poltergeist“, the 2 of them begin to experience some introductory activity in the form of self-opening cabinets, doors creaking, and chairs being stacked. Paul, loves the experience and hopes to encounter more, so that he can turn his time living there into a documented novel that details his encounters. Stella on the other hand, is frightened and decides that she can’t take living under these conditions any more. Paul a part time ad-writer seeks out the aid of others to help him formalize a story. His best friend Sam (Cain Clifton), thinks he’s losing it. His landlord Skip (Jon Gale) doesn’t want to get involved claiming that he never lived there himself (more than 3 weeks). Paul even locates a former renter Sue (Wendy Haines), who appears to be still traumatized by the ordeal. Though persistent, Paul drums up the spirit of this revenant that murdered his wife and children in the very same house. As his stay increases to over 8o days, so does the patience of this revenant.

Paul becomes inpatient and challenges the revenant to come out of hiding. Paul may also not like what is waiting for him.

I have to say for an independent release, I was highly impressed with the whole production on “Revenant”. It’s a well told ghost story containing suspense, frights, and substance that emerge from a traditional fear aspect in horror culminating into a well planned creation of a film. The lighting is very well done creating a perfect atmosphere adding to the beautifully haunting score by composers Kevin MacLeod and H. Anton Riehl. This is also a great product for newer director Derek Cole.

Often, these days we are inundated with ghost stories. Some of them are in-effective, some are overproduced and some simply work for the direction they set out to achieve. “Revenant” gets under your skin with high tension and clever twists. The FX work, while basic, is prefect for the needs of the story playing on the old scare of the “specter under the sheet” approach. I was often scratching my head with a “now, how did they do that”, curiosity. The 3rd act ramps up considerably and even ends on a surprise. “Revenant” while “not” a cam corder movie (cinema verite films) falls in line with the same level of terror that a film like “Paranormal Activity” present. The movie was created under a 10K budget while achieving what many films these days lack with 1000’s more on hand….effectiveness! I see this product being picked up real soon for distribution as it easily falls within my favorite of the year.

Revenant (2012)

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