Old Strangers – Chicago Reader

In Old strangerssometimes it is better to leave friends from the past there. Longtime pals Michael (Ted Evans), Sarah (Madeleine Humphries) and Danny (Colton Eschief Mastro) escape the doldrums of the LA coronavirus lockdown and reunite for a remote vacation weekend in Big Bear, Calif. . When they encounter a series of mysterious objects in the woods, Danny’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic as Michael and Sarah begin to fear for their safety.

Old strangers doesn’t suffer from the typical gender issue of an interesting premise falling short of its potential due to poor execution, but only because there doesn’t seem to be much thought given to the premise in the first place. Written and directed by independent filmmaker Nick Gregorio, the sci-fi / horror flick is wonderfully concise at a tidy 62 minutes, but somehow manages to seem 40 minutes too long. There isn’t much to recommend here. Narratively, the film is poorly plotted overall, managing to add a few unresolved subplots to create the least amount of background for the characters. Thematically, there is no interesting thought experience here about the nature of humanity or even a sustained mystery of the evil our characters face. A few bad things sort of happen to our characters, we’re told what’s causing them, and that’s pretty much it. The performance and line deliveries are choppy and overworked, and the editing and cinematography add little suspense to the unoriginal narrative.

The best that can be said about this movie is that hopefully some hard-working crew members were paid a decent daily rate to do so. 62 minutes

Available on VOD.

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