The death of a loved one can be a terrible and devastating event. I can relate to this as some of my friends died from the deadly virus last year. Because of this unexpected, traumatic event, it can manifest in one’s dreams. I can tell that I had a dream or two about my friends who have passed away. While some dreams can be good, there are others that can be traumatic and manifest in terrible and haunting ways.
The community, produced by Mighty Tripod and Cyfuno Ventures and distributed by Uncork’d Entertainment, is a story about how a death in a family can become a haunted secret that leads a single mother and daughter to reveal a terrible secret.
Liz Charles (Angela DiMarco), damaged by the death of her husband Jason (Ray Tagavilla), flees to Seattle with her discontented daughter Audrey (Sanae Loutsis). When they settle in a new town and Audrey with a new school, strange beings that only Liz and Audrey see on the school grounds. Liz meets with Father Felix (Bill Colonel Jr.), where she entrusts the priest with the death of her husband, which disturbs her dreams. As the ghostly beings manifest as Caleb (Lucas Oktay) and Sister Beatrice (Gin Hammond), they are exposed as phantom relics of a terrifying secret buried in the school’s past. Liz and Father Felix fight these phantoms to save Audrey from her clutches.
Written by Todd Downing and directed by David S. Hogan, The community is a stale story of haunted secrets and a confusing mashup of possessions. The story feels incoherent as many families face trauma and the death of a loved one, but I don’t know why this family is the only one haunted by these spectral deities and the “chosen ones” who hold the secrets ventilate the school. This film is peppered with a lot of dream sequences through the film. While not terrible, these sequences are pretty normal and could be better served if there were fewer of them and if they were more insightful and impactful. What is also disturbing is the connection between Jason and the ghostly entities, since they are not connected at all, and the uncertainty as to why the spiritual Jason would care about Caleb and Sister Beatrice since they never met in the material world .
As for the directorial aspect of the film, it’s competently shot, but much of the action is drowned out by the poorly mixed musical soundtrack. It seems that Mr. Hogan does not trust his characters’ interactions or the environment in which he places them. The scenes would be far more effective if the soundtrack were more subtle or if the natural surroundings of the surroundings were the soundtrack.
The two standout performances in this film are Ms. DiMarco’s portrayal as the haunted and vulnerable single mother Liz and Mr. Colonel Jr. as the kind and insightful Father Felix.
While The community has some horror elements, this movie feels more thriller than horror and has the feel of a Lifetime or Hallmark TV movie and could be more at home in these channels of content. For hardcore horror fans who would feel the urge to flock to this movie, I’d suggest flying in a different direction.
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