There seems to be a bit of a lull in the movie theaters when it comes to the horror genre. Ghosts, sequels, creepy dolls- it’s been done to death and, while some of these films may creep us out a bit, there hasn’t been an original complex story in quite some time. Maybe it’s due to the production studios only seeing dollar signs when it comes to the moviegoer. Maybe it’s because, after the torture porn era a few years back, the viewers have become numb to the typical scare jumps, evil objects, and hauntings that these same scripts have been regurgitating. Whatever the case may be, it’s been a bit difficult to find a thriller/horror winner which evokes fear and panic the viewer feels for the characters. Animosity is one psychological/horror thrill ride that finally gives us fans something to cling onto (preferably with the lights on).
Directed by Brendan Steere (Dead by Dawn), our story outline is one we have heard numerous times: Mike and Carrie Bonner are a newlywed couple, who have finally settled on their first home to reside in and seem quite happy. The house is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by trees, Mike (Marcin Paluch) heads off to work at a research/lab facility somewhere in town, while Carrie (played by the AMAZING Tracy Willet) scores music for silly, D rated horror films. Her current film? Naked Zombie Chicks (and, although the film Carrie is scoring is one the director made up, I do believe I may have seen a film similar to it…unfortunately).
Without giving too much away there is, what seems to be, the only neighbor near her who enjoys shooting his gun in Carrie’s yard (even threatening her at one point), a boy who seems to know who she is, yet she’s never seen this boy before, and quite a bit of denial by her husband, who doesn’t believe in Carrie’s concerns. As you can imagine, there is something quite sinister behind all of this and, unlike most horror films, it’s not what you would expect.
The cinematography in this indie gem, shot by Jesse Gouldsbury, was done very well, using stark color contrasts throughout the film which emotes a dreadful feeling in the viewer. When you combine this along with the movie’s amazing musical score (completed by Geoff Gersh), I would have to say that Animosity conjures up some of the bleakest moments on screen in quite some time (even to the point where I hid my eyes a few times). Could the movie have had a more streamlined script? Absolutely, but only due to the complexity of the writing. It tended to be a bit difficult to follow in one sitting and the scenes only allowed you to know what was going on in that moment, never really hinting at what all these details within the plot were going to amount to. I also had some qualms with the film’s audio. The score was very, very loud, yet the voice audio was incredibly low. I honestly kept my television remote in my hand the entire 107 minutes since there were times when I was constantly switching the volume, ranging from 19 to 88. However, even with those two complaints, this film delivers in a way that hasn’t been done in quite some time and is a refreshing alternative to the mainstream films big studios are releasing.
Rating: A sharp take on psycho-thrillers, Animosity is an indie film that shouldn’t be missed (7/10).