Directed by: George Popov Starring: Daniel Oldroyd, William Young, Suzie Francis Garton, Tony Broadbent Indie Film Review by: Alexandra James
Hex is set around the English Civil War during the 1600’s, two soldiers with a hell of a lot of beef must set aside their differences and produce harmony, in order to defeat the evil presence that lurks around the dreaded woods.
Writing and directing team George Popov and Jonathan Russell immerse both actors and audience into an ethereal world through magnificent locations, evoking an eerie yet profound viewing experience. Throughout the entire film I was asking the same question to myself, “where has this been filmed?!” as I believed it to be a beautiful stage and perfectly fitting for a story which involves witches, mystery, fear and turmoil. It just goes to show that budget does not necessarily control the entirety of the film, mere research and scouting is all that is truly important and Hex certainly is an advocate for this!
The plot is very simple but still left me wondering what is to happen next, which to me, is always ideal as I cannot stand predictable storylines in which the audience can almost mouth the dialogue along with the actors themselves. With thrillers, it’s always best to keep the audience wondering and on their toes by arousing a dark uncertainty, otherwise, viewers can become underwhelmed in a lot of cases.
I did feel that there were some elements to the story which began to drag or can be considered very slow moving. There was no real sense of urgency, especially during sword fighting scenes which you can only assume to be the most action filled moments to the story. Unfortunately, there was no real excitement within the fighting scenes and it did not help that one could find it possible to make a cuppa, come back and still manage to catch the end of their battle. Perhaps an improvement would be to either cut these scenes shorter or even to portray a stronger sense of passion and fear between the actors. A few cuts or slashes never goes amiss in a fight that’s for sure and would certainly make the combat that much more realistic.
I did enjoy Hex and felt that the performances were very convincing, however, I do feel that the film may have benefitted more if there was a heavier sense of dread or peril. A witch is lurking around the forest with the power to infiltrate soldier’s minds, I don’t know about you, but I’d be out of there like a shot! Therefore, as a viewer, I would have felt more nervous for the two men if they themselves highlighted their fear in order to depict the danger of the situation. On the other hand, I cannot fault the film's idyllic scenery, this honestly made the film for me and captured my attention completely.