In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Boys Weekend Gone Bad.

A movie on the BITS schedule of which zero knowledge going in was Andrew Moxham's White Raven.

The annual camping trip taken by four old friends goes awry as one of them becomes increasingly unstable.

Knowing nothing about this movie prior to viewing really helped my experience, as it has a very simple premise. I didn't even know it was a lost-in-the-woods movie until the four characters introduced in the first act all met up for their yearly excursion.

White Raven was a sedate, yet increasingly intense movie that really resonated with me. The interactions between the four friends seemed very familiar to me, as I saw parts of myself and my oldest friends in them. This naturally made me invested in seeing how things were going to play out.

I really don't want to downplay how much truth there was in Moxham's writing. This is often how guys behave with each other, as Shane Twerden's character Dan says late in the film, “We're men. We don't talk to each other.” We don't generally share our feelings, and modern technology has only helped further compound this. It tends to distract us from the important stuff. The hard stuff. In the movie, one of their foursome is going through some serious shit, and the only reason the other three were forced to deal with it is because they were stuck in the wilderness together. White Raven obviously presented a worse case scenario, but the reality within was staggering.

Andrew Dunbar (left), Steve Bradley, Aaron Brooks & Shane Twerden in White Raven

I also want to call attention to the top notch filmmaking. It wasn't flashy, but Moxham used the beautiful surroundings of British Columbia to his advantage, much like director Trevor Juras did earlier this year with The Interior. Juras' tale was of a more solitary nature, but the overwhelming scope of the forest was just as well represented here.

My experience with White Raven left me thinking about it well after the credits rolled. I have a crew of high school buddies that I only see once or twice a year – the next get together is the opening of Episode VII – and I intend to make sure everyone's okay. Because, why not? As Andrew Dunbar's character Kevin says in response to Dan, “Why do we do that? What are we afraid of?”

What indeed.

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