It’s clear to say that Sator was a labour of love for director Jordan Graham who would take six years to complete.
Apparently, this was due to budgetary limitations, and when you are the writer, director, and producer of your sophomore outing in the field, this is completely understanding. Being a lover of the craft, especially one where the vision is clear and the passion evident, I can only applaud Graham’s efforts.
The slow-paced, stylized depiction of Graham’s vision however will not suit everyone’s tastes, and perhaps consider it too “artsy”, especially for mainstream horror lovers.
Shot entirely in black and white, Sator emphasises both fields of being a low-budget film, but looking smart because of the association to ‘highbrow’ entertainment.
Essentially this film is a supernatural occult horror that uses the subject of a broken family as its heart, slowly being ripped apart by Sator, an entity that eats away at each of their souls before it can claim them.
With any known demonic force, it will find the weakest chain and begin to wear it down until it breaks loose and exposes the frailty of us all.
It may be laboriously slow in the manner of its delivery, but Graham’s depiction is masterful in places and the essence of it is incredibly strong and harrowing.
The choice of setting also cements this further as the family are based in a desolate forest, isolated from the real world with only each other to depend upon, but combined with this separated from reality.
It’s said that isolation can lead to depression and dissolution will set in with doubts and self-loathing, all fodder for demonism to take hold and seep its way into the humanity mainstream, fracturing any hope of surviving.
Here Jordan Graham crafts a deeply dark and disturbing tale, which will resonate for some, or find the stylisations too much to bear and ultimately turn them off.
- Saul Muerte