Runtime: 18 minutes
Starring: Jennifer Amell, Alexandria Thomas
Found: YouTube, Amazon
Production: Missing Woman Films
Synopsis: Isolated in the remote Floridian swamp, a woman turns to dark means and the occult to help her control a mysterious creature.
★ ★ ★ ★
Everglade is the impressive debut project by the newly established indie production house, Missing Woman Films. It’s apparent that they want their work to focus solely on female characters, and present them in all their wondrous complexity.
Here at Missing Woman Films, we got tired of hearing “strong woman” this and “strong woman” that. Women are certainly strong at times, but women are also angry, sad, vengeful, whip smart or struck dumb. They have moments of weakness and vulnerability, moments of shame and cunning, moments of love and desire— women are complex. That’s why we want our films to tell stories about women who are not just the heroine or villain, but somewhere hidden in the mysterious milieu of human experience. Everglade is our first attempt at telling the story of a complex woman. We learned so much making this short film and we hope to keep making compelling content by and featuring women.
As a woman, myself, I can indeed confirm that not being strong, doesn’t make me any less than what I am. But that’s neither here nor there.
Let’s get to the film. Be warned, major spoilers ahead!
What struck me first and foremost was the rich atmosphere that dominated almost every scene – truly some beautiful, picturesque shots that pleased the eye. However, despite all the abundant greenery and sounds of wildlife, there was an underlying sense of unease. Something wasn’t quite right in this “a girl and her cows” tale, and surely enough, the story took a sinister turn.
I admit, confusion ensued during my very first viewing, however together with the brief synopsis, I was able to piece things together to create my own interpretation. Certain elements were left vague – perhaps intentionally so, however there were some small snippets of information relating to the life of the leading character. Read further for my theory on the plot.
The main thing that caught my attention was the minimal dialogue – this worked well in entrusting the use of audio to express the eerie atmosphere surrounding the protaganist. As it was, the only scene in the entire eighteen minutes that had vocal interaction was presented in the form of a single question, but it’s a question I believed to be very relevant.
“How’s your dad doing?”
You see, it was clear throughout that the mysterious woman lived alone, so just where was her father? It could have been the simple matter that he just didn’t live with his daughter, although due to the fact that the bartender knew of him at what I assumed to be the local watering hole, it occurred to me that the ranch very probably belonged to him and his family.
Then there’s the apparent feeding of some creature residing deeper in the swamp, and the alter that made a brief yet meaningful appearance. It all led me to conclude that the father no longer lived; perhaps he became a mere meal, or even the monster itself. The end scene would certainly support the latter, as the entity seemed to jump ship in that possession-esque sort of way.
So, for some reason that I couldn’t quite grasp, the creature lost control, or became displeased, and thus a hunt ensued, but who exactly was the hunter?
The use of music was perhaps one of the most noteworthy elements – it masterfully supplemented the visuals, and for me, the most memorable scene was the dance sequence. There was something about it – an air of foreboding.
I think it’s only reasonable that I point out that I’m not an experienced film critic, but rather I’m just honest about my thoughts. I genuinely enjoyed Everglade, and appreciated how it was left open enough to generate speculation.
Taking into account that the team behind the camera consisted of one or two people, it’s tremendously inspiring what these women are trying to accomplish. I very much hope they delve further into the world of horror, because I’ll almost certainly be along for the ride.
© Red Lace 2018