Directed by Katie Aselton
Next up at Sundance 2012 is the fun little comedy/horror/thriller from Amesbury Productions, Black Rock. This short 83-minute feature was directed by, written by, and stars Katie Aselton and is her second entry accepted into Sundance. Black Rock places an ever so needed breath of fresh air into our horror genre and allowed the audience to exhale with no contempt whatsoever. The good time effort was obvious from beginning to end, never letting up for a single second.
The film centers on Sarah, who invites her friends Abby and Lou to finally get together for an outing at their old Maine island hang-out after eight years. Abby and Lou are not on speaking terms due to an act of indiscretion six years ago, and this causes quite a surprise when it’s found that Sarah had invited them both and told each it was just the two of them. After some arguments and reconciliation time, the ladies enjoy fun around the campfire when three gentlemen arrive. Lou, knowing one of the men, invites them to join the ladies for drinks. Many hours and glasses of whiskey later, Henry and Abby head off to the woods, no imagination needed to know what for. Abby has second thoughts, provoking Henry into a fit of rage that starts a chain of events leading the three women into a cat and mouse, jungle survival predicament that forces them to fight for their lives against the three angry war veterans.
It does not happen often that we get something to view that works in every way, but Black Rock delivers the comedy in perfect proportion to the horror. You can feel the fear emitting from the screen and laugh at every comedic moment. It never misses a beat.
Stellar performances are given by all involved. There is little gore to be had, most of the violence is kind of off-screen, but it was certainly not a necessity to make this film work to the fullest. Although it is in no way perfect, it is excellent in every facet of filmmaking. With all of the goods this flick serves up, it comes as no surprise that it was picked up so quickly by LD Distribution.
The quick runtime passed by without a whimper with either full comedy or relentless terror. The only shortcoming could be the films shortness, which leaves little time to get to know the characters better, as there were a few things that could have been examined further and would not have taken away from this otherwise amazing piece of work. This is a must-see for anyone who enjoys the genre so definitely put this one on your “must have” list when it hits DVD and Blu-ray. Hats off to Katie Aselton for putting together an amazing film with outstanding performances that has something to offer everyone.
4 1/2 out of 5