Shudder’s latest movie to hit the streaming platforms Exclusive and Original content is a triage powerhouse of creativity. Written and Directed by John and Zelda Adams, and Toby Poser (the latter of whom also take on leading acting duties) weave a coming-of-age tale of witchery.
Toby and Zelda play the mother-daughter dynamic, secluded in the mountainous range of North America, harbouring a secret that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Their seclusion from society is for good cause, and the mother (Toby Poser) at first comes across as over-protective and even sinister as early events unfold. She even tries to feed her daughter’s interest in music by forming a rock band consisting of just the two of them. By the stories’ end, we discover that there is a method to the matriarchal madness.
As Izzy (Zelda Adams) ventures further away from her abode and her mother’s grasp, the more she begins to discover herself but at what cost?
Her first encounter is with Amber (Lulu Adams) who unbeknownst to her at the time has snuck into a neighbouring house to use their pool. There is an awkwardness to their encounter, harnessed by Izzy’s own fumbling curiosity. Izzy survives through the help of small talk and some of the quirky facts that she produces but like any dormant threat buried deep beneath the surface, there will be an explosion of emotions and ferocity that she may not be able to contain next time around. As her confidence grows, so does the power she tries to contain within.
While there are elements that are trying to hinge on the independent mantra, feeling a little strained in its delivery, there are some notable moments that seep to the surface, making this a worthy film. It also demonstrates enough appeal to place the directing trio of Adams, Adams and Poser as names to keep an eye out for.
Both Adams and Poser also deliver strong performances to keep the audience engaged and willing to see how the balance of femininity will unfold.
- Saul Muerte