The October Flowers indie film


★★

Directed by Clay Moffatt

Written by Clay Moffatt and Aaron Saltou

Starring Aiyana Irwin, Frank Prell, Jean McKay, Adam Berardi, Bill Connor, Greg Lutz, Sean Dillingham, Jessica Y. Martin, William Kenny, Tif Coleman

Indie Film Review by Chris Olson


Supernatural mystery The October Flowers from filmmaker Clay Moffatt is a tale of life and death coming together in imperfect harmony. An entourage of characters reveal themselves as ghosts in a house with a long history when Danielle (Aiyana Irwin) and her boyfriend Ben (Frank Prell) turn up, after they hear of the death of Betsy (Jean McKay) Danielle's grandmother, who owned the house. As the characters spin their yarns, numerous storylines intertwine, and the drama unfolds, one antagonist in particular, called C.J. (Sean Dillingham) haunts Danielle with a lascivious glee.

Considering the nature of the story, Danielle's reactions are completely unbelievable, chatting to ghosts in the middle of the night like she is indulging confused strangers at a bus stop. Her wooden delivery and nonchalant attitude rid the film of any tension or depth, and the central mystery involving the flowers in the garden is clumsily handled. Many of the set pieces where she interacts with the ghosts (which Ben doesn't seem to see) are totally unconvincing, such as when a door slams shut in her bedroom and she pretends that it was a nightmare, or when she is threatened by C.J. and doesn't think to bother waking up Ben who is three feet in front of her!

Some of the stories from the ghost characters are a lot more entertaining though. There is a freshness in the way a new one gets introduced over the run time keeping the pace jaunty. Several of the performers turn up with a great deal more charisma than the leading actors. Oliver (William Kenny) is an injection of fun, and Bill Connor's Victor is a marvellous cinematic creation. Then there is the menacing and formidable C.J. who offers the best dramatic scenes.

Numerous aspects of the filmmaking fail to impress. The gratingly dramatic score is like a soap opera or an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark. This combined with the eye-rollingly bad use of lighting in The October Flowers, to create a scary atmosphere, all feels cheap and rather laughable. Furthermore, a few of the wipe transitions from the top to bottom, side to side, or corner to corner felt like the movie was put together using Microsoft PowerPoint. A couple of nice jump scares are introduced, though, but not enough to merit the horror genre tag.

Overall it's a poorly balanced indie film that wants to tell a ghost story with a bit of mystery and scares. Instead the result is a lot of amateur dramatics, bad dialogue, and things that make you laugh when you shouldn't.

Watch the official Movie Trailer for The October Flowers below...


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