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Old Strangers - Movie Review

Old Strangers

Tired of the ongoing pandemic yet?  You won’t be after this unsettling chiller is viewed.  Old Strangers, which capitalizes smartly on both the pandemic and our desire to reunite with a feast of friends, is a frightening look at gatherings gone bad.  Once this film comes to its conclusion, you'll be begging to be locked down again!

"keeps viewers on the edge of their seat with its fine build-up of tension and suspense"


Old Strangers, written and directed by Nick Gregorio (Happy Birthday, Harry Malden and Green), kicks off the beginning of this chilly year with a reminder of something growing in the darkness which stands between absent friends, driven to seclusion by Covid-19.  Those aliens we keep theorizing about?  Turns out, they are already among us. 

Smartly made and tightly edited, the film is full of stunning vistas which are made more impactful by an unsettling use of the night out among the snow, with fields of white ablaze in greens and blues.  It is almost a tone poem where mood is magnified by the camera and its director to create something unnatural from kinship.

Old Strangers is both topical and frightening as friends try their best to defy the odds and rekindle the spark of youth that once brought them together.  Only thing is that things have changed . . . and it isn’t for the better either.  Something has drifted in between them and it is beyond a simple lockdown.  

Thanks to cinematographer Blake Gaytan, the beauty of just where these friends are spending their time gives way to sheer terror as night descends.  Its Mother Nature and her beauty is to be breathed in completely.  Sarah, Michael, and Danny know this and share in each other’s joy at being able to unmask and roam free relatively quickly, yet thanks to slow and low-situated tracking shots through the woods, we are tipped off that all is not as it seems in this area of their “freedom”.

Something lurks in the dark of the woods, but what is it?!  What is found out will rattle you to the core.Old Strangers

Writer/director Nick Gregorio’s post-pandemic thriller stars Madeleine Humphries, Colton Eschief Mastro, and Ted Evans and that small cast brings a lot to the table as a natural chemistry is ignited between them.  There is a lot of conversation and it feels natural, which pays off when they discover that they are not alone here.  

Mere minutes into their second-day exploration into the woods, strange things begin to happen and they discover what they describe as an insect nest, full of squishy bubble-like larvae and, without warning, one of the tiny balls of jelly, whip out a tentacle-like arm and stings Danny.  That night, a stranger arrives at their door and, relatively quickly, their world descends into mutated madness.

With atmospherics cranked up high, Old Strangers keeps viewers on the edge of their seat with its fine build-up of tension and suspense.  The acting is very good and so too is the drama which forces them all out into the woods to deal with the changes happening between them.  Think a more claustrophobic version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and you are on the right path to appreciating this thriller.

Unnerving to the bitter end, Old Strangers premiers on digital January 11 from Gravitas Ventures.  They aren't coming.  They are already here!

3/5 stars

Film Details

Old Strangers

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
62 mins
Director
: Nick Gregorio
Writer:
Nick Gregorio
Cast:
Ted Evans; Madeleine Humphries; Colton Eschief Mastro
Genre
: Sci-fi
Tagline:

Memorable Movie Quote:
Distributor:
gravitas Ventures
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 11, 2022.
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Three friends reconnect in a secluded mountain town after a long quarantine. While out for a hike, the trio stumble upon something dark and terrible in the deep woods.

Art

Old Strangers

 

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