I LOVE it when directors and authors track me down from out of the blue to review their work. This shows ambition and initiative, and in many cases, the work in question is a labor of love. These pieces are usually well made and carefully constructed, and they are also very enjoyable. Such is the case with SILENT RETREAT, an upcoming offering from director Ace Jordan. This film took me by surprise and blew me away. Although you will have to wait four months for the film’s DVD release, I highly suggest you mark it on your calendar; this is one film you’ll be glad you waited for.
If you are not familiar with SILENT RETREAT, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the film’s official website:
Six members of a media company go on a weekend business retreat at an isolated lodge in the woods. When one of the members goes missing, they discover that the lodge was formerly a private mental institution that had been shut down after allegations of devious misconduct. One by one, they fall victim to the dark secrets buried at the lodge.
SILENT RETREAT is shot well and looks great onscreen. I never once thought of this as a low-budget film. I have to confess I do not know the budget for this movie, however IMDB estimates it at $600,000. Regardless, the production crew does a great job utilizing the funds.
The acting is very good, with several notable performances. Donny Boaz is excellent as Zach, and after looking at his IMDB page, I would dub him as ‘the hardest working actor you’ve probably never heard of’. I enjoyed him in this film, and I look forward to seeing him more onscreen. Actor Eli Bildner is hilarious as slacker Teddy, and actress Devon Ogden shines as the bitchy Lira. Both play off of each other well, and the result is a fun onscreen chemistry. Finally, young Aidan Flynn gives a chilling performance as the disturbed Ned. He seems to be a talented young man with a bright future in Hollywood.
SILENT RETREAT does not contain many special effects, but those we see look very good. I particularly like the gore that comes about when a man accidentally falls backwards, head-first, into a bear trap. This caught me by surprise, and the resulting onscreen carnage is fantastic.
I was expecting the story to be a rehashed version of countless films, however it is thankfully somewhat original. Not only that, but it’s well done. The plot plays out nicely, and it even has a clever twist towards the end that I did not see coming. As a result, I found the film wholly engrossing and wickedly engaging.
SILENT RETREAT is a major win for me, and I highly recommend it. Chocked full of dark humor and intense thrills, this is one for every horror/thriller fan out there. Make a note on your calendar to snatch this up as soon as it is released.