Interesting Native American horror story that all came together at the end.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
A LITTLE INDIE JEWEL.
J. K. Hinton | TX USA | 05/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit, I picked this movie up as a rental, because of the lovely, mysterious artwork on the cover. There was also reference to the fact that it won 'Best Film,' at the 32nd American Indian Film Festival for 2007. I casually thought I'd give it a try, but my expectations weren't high. At the time, I didn't know I was holding a little Indie jewel.
I'm still struggling with placing this film into a genre. It's not slasher horror, because it's free of blood and guts, but it WILL frighten you, at times. It's not just a thriller, because of the supernatural aspects. It is also an atypical ghost story. I think it is a category of its own, encompassing a little of several genres that many of us love. But, what makes it so interesting is the spiritual aspects, and magical realism of the Lakota, woven throughout, which culminates into a crescendo of an unexpected ending.
Shayla Stonefeather (Tonantzin Carmelo) is the chief protagonist, a Native American Attorney, returning home to the reservation to visit her father, who is facing death. She is initially very ambivalent about this visit. She has allowed herself to be removed from the traditions of her people, preferring to base her beliefs on science, rather than superstition and magic. In 1 hour, 28 minutes, we witness all of her current and past beliefs challenged, as she begins receiving messages from the spirit world. These messages represent violence and death, but who are they intended for---and who are the intended victims. The supporting cast, including Michael Spears (a Tribal Officer), her mother(Carla-Rae Holland) and the Medicine Man (Lakota Chief David Bald Eagle) all give top notch performances, as they assist Shayla on her journey of self discovery.
I think that viewers need to keep in mind, that this movie was not high on budget and, from the extras, it was shot in just three weeks time. So, you won't get any of the heart-pounding CGI afforded major productions. But, the scenery is beautiful---the countryside, the roaming buffalo, the stalking wolf and the noble pinto horse. You will feel the splendor of S. Dakota.
I applaud the producers of this movie, for giving an almost all Native American cast the opportunity to shine, in a contemporary film, minus the stereotypical images. We could use more like these. In fact, I can even envision a series---maybe Shayla's character teaming up with Tribal Police in solving crimes---a little romance. Yeah, it could work!"
Janice | Arizona | 01/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first viewed this film alongside the director, Michael Linn, at the Sedona Film Festival in April 08, which could have put me in an awkward position had I not liked the film. And quite honestly, I thought this would be a typical suspense movie with an ending I could figure out in the first ten minutes. Happily, I was wrong! With a skillfully written plot, an outstanding cast, and some chilling special effects, this film did not disappoint. The unusual twists kept me on the edge and the ending totally blew me away. I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone looking for a fresh take on a suspense/thriller."
Enjoyable film for older kids and adults
one Native opinion | 02/13/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Our family enjoyed this film and we have shared it with several friends. We are happy to see a film with modern realistic Native American characters, played by Native Actors. It had suspense, a good story, with some twists and turns. A "clean" story WITHOUT excessive violence, gore or nudity. Imprint"
This is a truly great movie!
T. Thomas | TX | 05/08/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite what another reviewer said, you cannot guess the ending in 10 seconds. You would have to be a very good clairvoyant to do so. This story has twists and such reminiscent of the Sixth Sense. It is worth the money and it was very well acted. The storyline was incredible! I would have never guessed it! This movie is a jewel. If you like movies such as 'The House that Mary Bought", "The Sixth Sense" and anything of that nature, you will love this...Ignore the negativity put out there. This film is worth the money spent to get the dvd."