Sam (Paris Peterson) is getting over the loss of a loved one and he’s not dealing with it very well. He’s at that stage where he’s crying all the time and finds it hard to get out of bed and it’s starting to affect his life.
His mother suggests he needs to get away and to try and reconcile with his emotions, suggesting a vacation at her home in the forest. Sam takes this advice and hopes for better days. However, when he gets there, he starts to experience strange things as if something is feeding off his misery and grief, making him feel worse than ever.
Grieve is a horror movie directed and written by Robbie Smith which takes a typical genre horror story and tells it in a different way. With perhaps a more arthouse style to his storytelling, director Smith guides his audience along, but without ever holding their hands.
However, despite this unique take on something which could have been more straightforward, perhaps here lies the problem. Because despite those people who may be more than happy to absorb the world that Smith has created to interpret for themselves, for others it may cause confusion.
It seems to be told mostly silently as well, with the visual storytelling taking a centre stage, it feels like the audience may have to do more work than perhaps they are willing. With some striking imagery at times, it almost feels like the movie gets carried away with itself as it experiments with the screen. Something which may work with a more experienced director, but in this case, it can only cause frustration.
There’s an almost clear line with the storytelling, if the audience is willing to watch and take it all in. However, for those who just want an easy to watch horror movie that doesn’t take much thinking, then they may need to stay clear.
It’s clear that director Smith has ambitions in his feature debut, but perhaps the answer is to show the audience something they’re familiar with, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel on his first try.
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