PRETERNATURAL

PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth

What do you do when you want to make films but have no money? Be inventive, and make them anyway, that’s what. Lack of cash isn’t always a sign of lack of quality. Sure, a few corners may be cut, some non-actors used, and locations found via stolen moments, but if you have a solid idea and determination, it can be done.

This is just what the makers of Preternatural have managed. It’s a story that is so ‘meta’ it almost defies description. If you think the timey-wimey ‘cleverness’ of Doctor Who of late is bold, wait until you get a load of this!

What we have is presented almost as a home movie, with the leads (playing versions of themselves) setting out to make a spoof Blair Witch pseudo-documentary film. Through the auditions to the filming of the movie itself, we follow the hapless filmmakers as they attempt to make their work of art. However, as filming progresses, people and things may not be as innocuous as they seem.

It’s a hard film to explain without giving away too much of the fun of watching it all unfold. When one begins viewing Preternatural, you might find yourself groaning at the lameness of some of the gags or even at how forced some of it is; but stick with it, because as things progress, it becomes as clever and bafflingly brilliant as anything made for many thousands more than its £150 budget.

At one point Gav and Dixon (the characters) say ‘What we do if this was a movie?’ and it’s that knowing stance that drives the narrative for a large part of the film, and it’s refreshing to see that premise handled in such a matter of fact manner. It allows in-jokes and self-referential gags to flow thick and fast.

There’s a point in the film where things shift and the action is underpinned by an ominous and imposing score (also by director Steel). Elements like those that raise Preternatural above the standard no-budget vanity flick, and make a re-watch almost essential.

Steel’s first feature, The Shadow of Death was a fun homage to the slasher film that was perhaps bogged down by the humour that would occasionally feel too forced, but the very real, natural and engrossing nature of this film highlights the fun while also providing a genuine sense of fear and dread. What could have been too clever for its own good becomes a totally unpretentious and wild ride.
Well worth tracking down if it hits your local festival.

PRETERNATURAL / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: GAV CHUCKIE STEEL / SCREENPLAY: DIXON BARKER / STARRING: DAN BONE, GAV CHUCKIE STEEL, BEN SHOCKLEY, JANE WEST / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

Expected Rating: 6 out of 10
Actual Rating:


 


Suggested Articles:
Written and directed by John Williams, The Slayers follows two cultists, Nigel and Job.  Accord
When it comes to cinema, it is always good to see a film that either blows away expectations or show
‘The one with the vampire girl’ may not be the best of the short stories from the V/H/S series,
Imagine the following conversation: Friend One: “What should we do today?” Friend Two: “Dunn
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Movie Reviews

THE SLAYERS 02 December 2016

ARRIVAL 02 December 2016

SIREN 24 November 2016

CREEPY 22 November 2016

RWD 21 November 2016

ALLIED 19 November 2016

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM 18 November 2016

WOLF MOTHER 13 November 2016

CREEPY (CELLULOID SCREAMS FILM FESTIVAL) 12 November 2016

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK 04 November 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
...