Monday, 2 November 2015

Preternatural - Fresh Dip

I'm sitting here with a Fortean taste in my mouth wondering about the nature of reality. About fuses
and bombs. Turkeys and blockbusters- video. Data about data. A recursive tunnel of life until, ultimately, the black veil of death snuffs the individual.

Nothing lasts forever.

I've just watched Preternatural by Gav C. Steel and Dixon Barker. Or have I? Did I just watch it or was I an unwitting participant?

It's a sharp self-aware pastiche on the found-footage genre with an added twist of lemon - no doubt making it too sharp, too close to the bone, for some.

From breaking the fourth wall as a dramatic device to accenting dialogue with sloppy camera angles reminiscent of lomography, the production values are an un-apologetic punk song.

But this is no musical.

What appears to be wear and magnetic damage on the originating VHS tape runs throughout the film as we follow the exploits of amateur filmmakers Gav and Dixon. Hilarity does not ensue.

The sound design and some graphically striking compositions elevate this well performed tale of malevolence above the average splatterfest. In fact, there is no splatter. Just plenty of chills. Plenty of nested meta.

Why am I writing about a fantasy horror movie on a blog primarily about compact capability? Well it struck me that this movie likely would not have happened so fluidly, or at all, with a union crew of 30 and a video-village in tow.

Similar to Steel's previous feature The Shadow Of Death, this film was shot PSC (that's Portable Single Camera, kids) in a variety of locations that would have hampered large productions with accessibility problems and Winnebagos getting stuck in the mud. Well, except one location - the indie production had to give way at one point to Nick Frost and Chris Hemsworth riding on horseback for Universal Studios filming The Huntsman.

In an odd way, and perhaps this makes me biased, Preternatural reminds me of a cross between my own Crooked Features and the all-improv Halloween spectacular, G.A.I.N. - however, to mere mortals I have no doubt that Preternatural will be a fresh dip into the genre-bender genre.

Recommended for cerebral stimulation in a silent, dark, place.

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