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Silent Retreat

Canada 2013
produced by
Tricia Lee, Chris Agoston (executive) for A Film Monkey Production
directed by Tricia Lee
starring Chelsea Jenish, Sofia Banzhaf, Robert Nolan, Jen Pogue, Matthew Romantini, Mark Buck, Jennie Foster, Katie Buitendyk, Jenna Jade Rain, Sable Rae Empey, Mark Kalpakis, Minerva Mohabir, Angela M. Newell, Meghan Nora Smith
story by Corey Brown, Tricia Lee, screenplay by Corey Brown, music by Aaron Gilhuis, special effects by Shaun Hunter

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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As part of her mandatory rehabilitation program, young Janey (Chelsea Jenish) is sent to a retreat deep in the woods - something that on first sight might seem much preferable to any kind of correctional facility, as the rules seem very simple here for a limited time to sit through: One is just not allowed to talk, to make eye contact with other inmates, or to draw attention to oneself. However, Dr Prince (Robert Nolan) who runs the facility, is a bit too strict in enforcing the rules while all the inmates are a bit too obedient. And apparently, there's something weird going on in one of the cabins where the disobedient girls are taken, something that might have to do with brainwashing.

Eventually, in an unguarded moment, Janey makes friends with Alexis (Sofia Banzhaf), and the two of them make up a plan to escape - a plan that includes them searching Dr Prince's office in an unguarded moment and finding out quite a few horrible things ... but ultimately, they are caught, and left out in the woods that nighjt - and there they have to find out that the doctor's insistence on silence isn't just a whim of his, there is actually a creature out in the woods who's on the prowl for everyone who makes as much as a sound, a creature that now comes after Janey and Alexis ... but the girls still have some fight in them ...

 

Silent Retreat is one of those low budget horror movies that gets it right where so many bigger budget movies simply fail: It relies heavily on atmosphere to creep the audience rather than relying on randomly placed sudden shocks for a bit of a "boo"-effect, doesn't explain everything away from square one but lets the mystery unfold slowly (and effectively), even if somethings are left unexplained till the end, it's directed with just the right subtlety to get the wilder plot elements across as believable (at least in the framework on the movie, and even if there's very little dialogue, it features well-developed characters portrayed by an extremely capable cast. And apart from all that, the finale packs a huge punch!!!

Highly recommended!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD