Greetings valued Dan's Movie report readers, direct from Sweden comes an interesting Horror/thriller/revenge film called Sargard. Watching many indie horror films, I notice one thing that is really amazing about Sargard. The development of characters. Essentially the story begins with a mother and two sisters going to a cabin in the woods to spread the ashes of their father. So not the happy go lucky things to start out.
By starting the film out with the characters already mired in sadness and uncertainty the audience immediately is drawn into the characters. Their ages are not given, but an approximation is the mother is around 50 and the daughters are around 21 and 17, so essentially grown. The first 30 minutes of the film is spent learning the about the three women, the dynamic of family. A real rarity among these types of films as usually the madness starts early and it runs flat as the cast members are dispatched with little fanfare, and thus little emotion. Sargard actually could have been the start of an interpersonal drama, but of course it is not, it is an unrated maniacal revelation in a descent into madness.
The lead character Elina played by Sarah Giercksky, who also wrote the script is really amazing. She has to go from caring daughter, to caring sister, to fighting for her life. Although a young actress Sarah is a student of film and obviously took the time to research the different aspects of her character, it seems as she took the time to watch other horror films and NOT fall into the trap of undeveloped characters. Sarah is emotional, but not over acting, angry but not hysterical etc... She is a recent grad of film study, and it shows. I read a bunch that many people think that schooling is not necessary, well for real acting, yeah it is.
The movie is in Swedish with English subtitles and is presented in 1080p resolution. For an ultra low budget independent film the actual quality is excellent. The sequences in the forest are well lit, clear and properly framed. According to the IMDB page the entire budget is 3,000USD! Now I must say, how is this even possible, well it is! A passionate group of individuals got together to make a great film. Giving away the outcome and for that matter any of the plot spoils the damn cool twists! So a big FU to those people who spoil the films in their reviews!
Now obviously director Andres R Ramos if he was given say even 30-40k could have had more set pieces in the forest and some other accouterments, but again it is budget related not quality related.
American indie film makers can learn a whole bunch from Sargad, It is a recommended purchase and rates a very strong 8 out of 10, I know if I am ever trapped in the woods, I will call Sarah!
For further information on the film point your browsers over to https://www.facebook.com/Sargad
The film is currently making the festival rounds all over the world, see it!
Watch for an interview with Sarah in the coming weeks!