Friday, February 5, 2021

Sator (2021)

Streaming Services: N/A
Movie Name/Year: Sator (2021)
Genre: Horror
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Mistik Jade Films, Film Emporium
Director: Jordan Graham
Writer: Jordan Graham
Actors: Michael Daniel, Rachel Johnson, Aurora Lowe, Gabriel Nicholson, June Peterson, Wendy Taylor
Blurb from IMDb: Secluded in a desolate forest, a broken family is observed by Sator, a supernatural entity who is attempting to claim them.

Selina’s Point of View:
Sator has been getting the kind of reviews that directors dream about. I see where the majority of reviewers are coming from. That said, I have a much different take.
I’ll start off with the parts of the reviews I agree with.
Sator was not a jump-scare kind of flick. Writer/Director Jordan Graham (Specter, Midground, Spirit Link) shrugged off any of that typical, trope-y shit that we have seen way too much of. Anything that the horror genre has too much of sprinkled within, Graham keeps far away from this film.
You’re not going to hear that annoying high-pitched squealing music and then see a cat run by. The protagonist isn’t going to close a mirror to reveal the demon standing behind him, only for him to look and see that it’s gone. There’s none of that.
Of course, for the majority of the movie there’s not a whole lot of anything.

The problem is that he removed all the stuff we don’t want to see anymore, but forgot to replace it with anything. I felt like there was nothing to invest my interest in for the first half of the film.
The setting was spooky enough, but because the lighting was so dark, it was hard to see anything anyway. There are no answers – which is fine for a first half – but I feel like there are no questions either.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe it was all too cerebral for me.
I found enough questions answered at the end for me to say I enjoyed the finale, but I’m not sure it was worth the entire watch. It was barely an hour and a half, but it felt like it took six hours to get anywhere.
If you enjoy art house/experimental horror that doesn’t put a whole lot of energy into the ‘entertainment’ quality, then this is for you. I don’t have the attention span for it.
Sator will be available to purchase, or rent, in North America on February 9th.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was super excited to get a chance to screen this movie. I actually threw myself in blind without watching the trailer beforehand, either. I knew that this was going to be a horror movie, but that was where my expectations ended.
Now that I’ve watched Sator, I have to say: I’m a bit flummoxed. While the film was in progress I was slightly confused. The longer I’ve ruminated on it since the credits rolled, however, I’m finding a clearer picture of what I think transpired.
I’m going to be straight up, for the sake of disclosure, and admit that I might currently be a little harder to please than usual. My family and I are currently ill and I’ve found it’s affected my patience and attention span to some degree. So, take my interpretation with a grain of salt.
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of good things about this film. It was just another slow burn, and it had a bit of a meandering fuse. I was hoping for fireworks at the climax, and I got a spark fountain that was no less pretty, it just wasn’t as lofty as I’d hoped.

I found the switch between letterbox and small-screen perspective interesting as well as the shift from black and white to color – depending on the setting. Some parts of the film felt nearly documentary-esque.
The locations were well chosen for this picture. The redwood forests of Northern California make an excellent backdrop for an eerie supernatural vibe. Some of the shots were absolutely gorgeous. While it was clear that this production didn’t have a blockbuster budget, I think they really did well with what they had to work with.
Everything was so understated and steeped in ambiance that I found myself jumping more easily than normal at the slightest provocation. I was amused when my own startles seemed to echo some of the alarming moments of the main character. It felt like I was in their shoes for a time.
While Sator didn’t exactly turn out as I was expecting, I was still intrigued. I can’t say that I’d watch it again, though, because the suspense just wouldn’t be the same.
If you give this one a try, be sure you’re watching at night or in a dark room. I found I got so much more out of the experience watching at night because my screen just blended into the darkness around me and drew me further into the movie.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 91%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.3/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment