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Harry Lister Smith
A twist on the slasher genre, following two death-obsessed teenage girls who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small mid-western town into a frenzy and cement their legacy as modern horror legends.
Mysterious events surround two travelers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to a dark and complex web of secrets.
The synopsis here on IMDb is not quite accurate. There are actually 2 stories happening here, and how they connect is revealed slowly, with perfect timing and a suspenseful buildup.
The first story concerns the town doctor, who is helping the police with an investigation of a woman who has died. His character spend the entire film teetering between trying to figure out this town's dark past and how it connects to some recent and frightening events, and trying to live with the torment of the loss of his son, who went missing some years earlier.
The other story is about a married couple (and her best friend) who are in town to convert an old, disused building into a bed & breakfast. There are some personal issues between the three, but the most interesting character by far is the wife. She's also experienced some trauma in her past, and it is she who suffers the strange events that happen in this story. None of what happens to her is ever seen by her husband or her friend, so we don't really know if it's real or imagined.
The town's current crimes, the renovation of the b&b, how the two narratives cross paths is revealed slowly, with suspense and satisfying scares, and is done exceedingly well.
The actors' performances were well done; not a stinker among them. And the landscape is perfect for such a tale. Desolate, cold, isolated...not just in miles, but in connection with the outside world (for example, difficulty in getting a cell phone signal). There are no cheap shots, no stunt scares. A beautiful soundtrack and gorgeous cinematography are icing on the cake of this thriller.
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