Mike and Heather are a couple of brothers trying to cope with their father’s recent death, and plan to spread his ashes on the forest where their family used to vacation. Several of Mike’s friends decide to tag along, not so much as to offer Mike some emotional support, but to seize the moment and to have a party all weekend on a secluded cabin in the woods. What the young students are unaware of, is that in that same forest recently have been occurring several murders eerily similar to others that happened several years ago and that were never solved.
The authorities, trying to not spread the panic in the community, decide to keep the murders and the investigation secret to the public, but a couple of persons that were close to Mike’s father are convinced that both his death and the recent murders are not a coincidence, or the work of a mortal being, but a evil supernatural force that has come back to claims its vengeance and fill the woods with terror. An entity that will not only put the lives of the students in danger, but also make them fight one another to the death before the weekend is over.
“Black Creek” is one of those films where you can see that the people behind it pushed themselves to the limits with whatever resources they had, and makes you wonder how would the film look if they had a bigger budget. Leaving aside that some of the acting is not very good and that some special effects fall into the weaker side, there is a very good story told in a very efficient manner, and an interesting concept that could work for more movies. I will point out that there were also several very effective special effects, although there were more of the practical kind.
To my taste the film has a very solid script with dialogues that feel natural and work very well, although there are characters that are almost insufferable (as you would expect in a slasher film, -note that I am not saying this is a slasher-). There are other characters that although there are not a lot of time on the screen, they do make their scenes interesting and help the story to move along. I liked a lot the concept behind the entity that is committing the murders, and I felt that the pacing of the film was good, even when there are some spots where seems to drag a little. Fortunately, the pace picks up again around the third act, and manages to bring the story to very satisfying conclusion. I also liked how some elements of the native American culture were incorporated in the plot, I am sure that some people will claim felt forced, but for me they worked very well..
Now, I will point out that this movie has several elements and ideas that we have seen before, and fans of the horror genre will have no problem to see what other films and stories played an influence on “Black Creek”, but I believe this is a good example of how you can pick several familiar elements and give them your own spin to bring something new to the table. There are a couple of scenes that didn’t click completely with me due reasons of logic, but I could let them go since they helped to build up the tension for the last part of the movie. Another element that helped to create the tension was the musical score, which I ended up liking a lot, but also contributed to another issue: at times the dialogues were at a very low volume compared to the music, and I could not clearly understand what some characters said. Luckily that problem did not happen too often.
In conclusion: Despite being a independent film with clear limits on budget, you can see the talent behind the camera, and left me wanting to see more works of the writer and director James Crow in the future. I hope on his next project he can get a bigger budget, because I am sure he will be put everything to work, and he has more interesting stories to tell.
“Black Creek” was directed and written by James Crow and stars Chris O’Flyng , Brianna Shae , Leah Patrick, Michael Copon, Kaylee Williams, Robert Lowe and Michael Hill. The film arrives on VOD February 16th from Freestyle Digital Media.