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The Tent

USA 2020
produced by
Tim Kaiser, Nancy Lynette Parker (executive) for 1926 Pictures
directed by Kyle Couch
starring Tim Kaiser, Lulu Dahl, Shelby Bradley, Christine Marie, Jeannine Thompson, Jeff Kaiser, Timmy Kaiser, John Edward Jaissle, Shirley Moon Koebbe, Kyle Couch, Matthew Aaron, Thomas Butcher (voice)
written by Kyle Couch, music by Pierre Vaucher

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Some apocalyptic event or other has struck the world several years back, wiping out most of humankind, and since then some lethal creatures roam the night, apparently preying on those who haven't died yet. David (Tim Kaiser), a man in his 70s, seems to have made a good job out of remaining alive though, as he has a tent to keep the creatures at bay, and keeps a fire running all through the night which helps as well. Also he's an expert at setting traps - well, until he steps into one of his own traps that is, and it's only pure luck that drifter Mary (Lulu Dahl) just happens to be near and hear his screams of pain. She frees him from his trap and walks him to his tent, but at first he doesn't even show basic courtesy to ask her in - only when he notices his injuries are worse than he anticipated does he accept her offers to nurse him. Other than that though, David remains stubborn and insists on Mary leaving the next day, and suspecting her of all kinds of treachery. And while much of what he thinks sounds overly paranoid, he's not completely wrong, as Mary eventually admits she has been watching David for a while, and has seen that he has started to slip in his daily routine to lay out traps, and it was no coincidence that she was near when his leg got caught in one of his own traps. The two soon are at odds, and yet she somehow convinces him to leave his tent behind to basically go looking for greener pastures - which might lead to salvation but also sounds like a mighty dangerous idea ...

 

As far as post-apocalyptic thrillers go, this is a pretty unusual one, but unusual in a good way as it takes well-known genre elements but (at first) empties them of all backstory - which means, the apocalypse is never explained, nor the nature of the creatures outside (which are also never really shown) or their motives or the like. And when the audience finally gets an explanation for everything, it's not what one might have expected, but really puts the pieces of its cleverly laid out narrative puzzle together. The whole thing is of course also helped by a direction that finds a balance between genre savvy and subtlety, and strong performances by the two leads. Cool genre entertainment really, and not what one would expect.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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out now on DVD