Wednesday, August 1, 2018


The Crescent (2017) - Smith
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Beth (Danica Vandersteen) is an almost inappropriately young looking mother of Lowen, a toddler. She is seen attending a funeral in the beginning, presumably her husband in some kind of accident. She drives to a large wooden beach house in Nova Scotia. She will sell the house soon. But for now, she will live in there with her young son. Isolation, apart from human contact seems to be what she is looking for, out of grief one can assume.

Lowen is a handful child. Always running around, doing what toddlers do, always falling over, always in imminent danger of injuring himself. Young Beth most of the times, doesn't seem to be a capable mother, at least the whole situation seems that way. There is a creepy old neighbor who's always eyeing on Lowen, saying ominous, creepy things. Beth is an artist, specializing in marbling, a technique where one drops oil based die on water and makes trippy patterns, then put a paper over it to get that groovy 70s style wall paper patterns. These patterns figure largely into the big picture later on - on Beth's wishes and nightmares, and in her surroundings. The film quietly develops into part Lovecraftian horror and part portal to a parallel universe thing.

There are a lot of modern horror films about death and grief and such. But The Crescent is a special film. Seth A. Smith, a visual artist and a filmmaker from Nova Scotia, is a real talent in creating certain quietude and sensitivity that is lacking in today's loud and obnoxious horror. Combined with his artistic skills, Smith evokes something that is deeply felt and memorable. Never a horror movie I watched recently that stayed on for days in my head- the visuals, details, the over all impact, and the sadness it carries. The Crescent goes down as one of the best films I've seen this year.

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