It’s always a good sign when a horror movie starts with a scream. And THE LEGEND OF SORROW CREEK does, before going into a series of abstract images that deftly set the tone for this surprisingly effective chiller.
We’re not entirely sure what happened but it was clearly gruesome and involved a bloody knife and a noose. Then we jump ahead about a hundred years to a grim-faced cop waiting in a lush forest for an expert in local folklore. When he arrives, they begin moving into the woods, toward some undisclosed crime scene. The expert talks about how the woods have long been considered haunted and that an entire village fled, abandoning their homes long ago. This part doesn’t bode well, with awkward acting and unnatural dialog, so when we next move to a group of twenty-somethings vacationing in these same woods, it’s easy to expect the worst. But then something strange happens…
The Legend of Sorrow Creek shifts gears and becomes a well-acted and creepy little flick, with good photography and some smart editing. There isn’t really a story to speak of, unfortunately, but what’s there involves two sisters who bring their boyfriends to their childhood home for a getaway. It’s when they stumble upon the ruins of the village where the original horrors took place that things start getting spooky. Why these girls never knew about the local legend isn’t really clear and it’s a shame that more thought wasn’t put into the script, because what’s here is actually pretty decent. We get a scary phone call (from a phone that shouldn’t be working), a lurking menace, possessions by evil spirits, bloody murders and an increasing sense of dread as it becomes clear that the characters are trapped.
Now, like I said, it’s unfortunate that the characters don’t have more to do and things bog down a bit in the middle, but the actors really do give it their all and manage some pretty good performances. And the whole thing is blessedly short, clocking in at under an hour and twenty. The visuals are sometimes very clever and it wraps up with a well-done case of history repeating itself. You could do a lot worse!
Review: Baron Von Marte