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Grimmfest 2021 Film Feature - Night at the Eagle Inn

Directed by: Erik Bloomquist

Written by: Erik Bloomquist, Carson Bloomquist

Starring: Amelia Dudley, Taylor Turner, Greg Schweers, Beau Minniear, Erik Bloomquist

Grimmfest Feature by: Darren Tilby



Synopsis: Fraternal twins spend a hellish night at the remote inn their father disappeared from the night they were born.

Grimmfest say: Erik and Carson Bloomquist, the creative team behind last year's elegantly retro-styled Grimmfest hit, TEN MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT, return with another sharp and cineliterate spin on classic genre tropes. Full of sly visual and verbal nods to such hellish hospitality hotel-based classics as PSYCHO, THE SHINING, and Ti West's THE INNKEEPERS, and at times outrageously arch and knowing (actually going so far as to have the characters mention the very movies the film is referencing, even as it is doing so), the film's postmodern playfulness and sense of cinematic mischief calls to mind 90s genre cinema just as vividly as the visual textures of their previous film evoked the 80s. But appearances are again deceptive. This is no mere pastiche. The twin protagonists' wisecracking reactions are quickly revealed as a defence mechanism, a means of holding emotion at arm's length as they try to face down the traumatic mystery that has blighted and shaped their lives, and which now threatens to consume them. Amelia Dudley and Taylor Turner create an entirely plausible central relationship, warm and witty and mutually supportive, anchoring the film's ever more slippery sense of reality and increasingly metaphysical narrative trajectory in recognisable human emotions and personal frailties. Alternately darkly comic and deliriously disorientating, it's a deft and dynamic examination of the dark lure of our own pasts, and of the various ways in which we damn ourselves as a result.

What I'm expecting: Erik and Carson Bloomquist's Ten Minutes to Midnight was a fascinating film: a retro-drenched piece that played up the genre conventions of 80s horror, twisting them into a reality-bending commentary on the ageism often faced by women in the workplace. It showed a lot of promise, and while I still enjoyed much of it, I felt that it was slightly let down by its convoluted ending. That would be my main concern here: I really hope the writers are better able to make something more concise with the brilliant ideas they're bringing to Night at the Eagle Inn. The mention of Psycho and The Shining is incredibly compelling: both of these films are brilliant delves into the minds of troubled people, and psychosis, brought about by loneliness and personal demons, feature heavily in both. Night at the Eagle Inn sounds very similar, and honestly, I'd love that to be the case; a slow burner with an ambiguous nature. I have really high hopes for this one, and after all, who doesn't enjoy a good psychological horror?



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