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The Secret of Sinchanee

USA 2021
produced by
Charles Arthur Berg, Nate Boyer, Lynn K. D'Angona, Steven Grayhm, Joe Newcomb (executive) for Team House Studios, Truth Entertainment
directed by Steven Grayhm
starring Steven Grayhm, Tamara Austin, Nate Boyer, Laila Lockhart Kraner, Rudy Reyes, Alexa Luippold, Chris Neville, Emmett Spriggs, Ricky Barksdale, TJ Millard, Raquel Lindemann-Ngyuen, Mark Oliver (voice), Margarita Reyes, Kathleen Kenny, Skylar Schanen, Elena Capaldi, Jacob Schick, Don McAlister, Bryanna Nadeau, Jesse Goddard, Trystyn Roberts, Donna Tierney-Jones
written by Steven Grayhm, music by Gary Rugala, Rycky Ruke, visual effects by Alter Ego

review by
Mike Haberfelner

A woman is found murdered, and several hundred miles across country, deep into snowy rural USA, her daughter's car is found abandoned, and she's found frozen to death not far from the car, her body covered in weird brandings. Detectives Carrie (Tamara Austin) and Drew (Nate Boyer) investigate, but they rarely see eye to eye, as they've once been lovers and have a daughter together, Ava (Laila Lockhart Kraner), but their breakup wasn't exactly smooth. That said, it doesn't take them long to find a tailor-made suspect, local car mechanic Will Stark (Steven Grayhm), the deceased's best friend when they were children, and later her penpal over the years, who denied even knowing her upon initial questioning. Also, locals consider him a bit of a weirdo, and schizophrenia apparently runs in his family, last witnessed with his father who eventually committed suicide. Also, when he was a kid, his mother and sister were murdered before his very eyes. But all this isn't even circumstantial evidence. But there's certainly something wrong with Will, as the audience soon finds out, as he has visions of his deceased sister Grace (Alexa Luippold), finds bitemarks on his body with no idea how they go there, and might experience schizophrenic episodes himself if not worse. Carrie is so convinced that he has something to do with her case that she eventually breaks into his home - but what she finds only leads her to a shaman, Solomon (Rudy Reyes), who tells her about the local natives, the Sinchanee, his tribe and also the tribe of Will, and even Carrie has Sinchanee blood in her. Now the Sinchanee were resistant to the settler's diseases back in the olden days, so the settlers used the Sinchanee death spirit and turned it against them, and that might be at the center of the whole case. Apparently now the death spirit zeroes in on Will - but what's worse, it might also have designs on Carrie and Drew's daughter Ava ...

 

A very interesting thriller that starts out as your usual serialkiller story but gradually shifts into supernatural horror, but in a way that it makes sense, narratively. And a deliberately slow pace only helps the film's plot to stay on course, as does a direction that relies on subtlety rather than spectacle, while a fine ensemble keep things grounded. And the snowy Massachusetts backdrops are nicely filmed and give the film its brooding atmosphere to make this into a very cool piece of genre cinema.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

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
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

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
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD