A Black Rift Begins to Yawn opens on one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiringly transfixing shots of the year, a beautifully lit skeleton that then proceeds to linger on for a further two minutes.
However, not even thirty seconds after, this Lovecraftian horror starts to fall apart, transitioning to a pointless shot thrown in purely to extend the runtime slightly, offering far too many shots that linger for far too long.
Director Matthew Wade’s story follows two women, Laura (Sara Lynch) and Lara (Saratops McDonald), as they work on a mysterious project that distorts their memories of time, place, and identity when they discover cassette tapes at the home of their recently deceased professor that appears to have recorded a signal from an alien satellite. It’s obvious to see where Wade got the idea for his work, with it taking a great deal of inspiration from science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Out of Time, which is where the title of the film “A Black Rift Begins to Yawn” comes from.
I’ll get straight to the point with this one, A Black Rift Begins to Yawn is a film fans of Lovecraftian aesthetics will enjoy, but for wider audiences, it’ll prove to be nothing but a shell of a movie that’s thin on plot, but high on violet tinged visuals that add very little to the film. It must be stated that the films look is beautiful, from the aforementioned first shot to the last the stylized look never slips, but beauty can only do so much for a film, and sadly, that’s where the lack of a strong story and developed characters will confine this to a niche audience.
There’s a severe sense of disappointment when viewing a film with such an interesting premise that ultimately turns out to be nothing more than a shell of what could have been. Perhaps I speak unknowingly, the Lovecraftian, cosmic world of fantasy and horror is one I know little about and thus, by all means, this could very well, be one that fans adore.
Yet, from an outsider’s perspective, A Black Rift Begins to Yawn is a bore that’s unconventional approach to cinema left me checking my watch, yawning throughout. Whilst the film attempts to impress its audience by showcasing some impressive deeply layered imagery, the plot at hand gives the film a rather pretentious feeling, affecting greater merit than it actually possesses, leaving Wade feeling more like a competent cinematographer then a good director.
Nevertheless, the film’s dream-like sound and imagery will undeniably leave audiences transfixed to the screen, which is ultimately intended, but the lack of a decent storyline will leave many viewers disappointed by its end result.
Fans of cosmic horror should find something worthwhile here, just as long as they can focus more on the cosmic part and forget about the horror, but wider audience members like myself will gain nothing out of the end project. Matthew Wade’s efforts are commendable, but if you’re not a preexisting fan of the genre, A Black Rift Begins to Yawn won’t change your mind.
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