Besetment is the condition of being beset, Dictionary.com defines beset as: verb (used with object), beset, besetting. 1.to attack on all sides; assail; harass: to be beset by enemies; beset by difficulties. 2. to surround; hem in: a village beset on all sides by dense forest. And that is a fitting title for Brad Douglas’ new thriller, a tale of a young woman forced to fight for her life against the evil that surrounds her.
Amanda (Abby Wathen UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY, THE BAY) is desperate to find work and get away from her mother. When an opening at a remote hotel run by Mildred (Marlyn Mason whose career in movies and tv stretches back to the early 1960’s) and her simple minded son Billy (Michael Meyer BEACH BLANKET FRANKENSTEIN). After a few drinks with her new boss she passes out and wakes up the next day with no memories of the night before and thinks nothing of it. However a few weeks later when she discovers she’s pregnant despite not having been with anyone, it seems something did happen that night, who, or what, is responsible for her condition? And how far will they go to make sure it’s born?
BESETMENT is a creepy film that goes into some dark and twisted places. Given the current trends in horror I thought I knew where the plot was heading but it it went in an entirely different direction, and even then twists to make it even more disturbing. I don’t want to drop spoilers and ruin it, but by the time it was over I could have used some bleach for my mind. This is a film that manages to be very disturbing without being very bloody. More than one “extreme” filmmaker could take a lesson from this and make the story as disturbing as they try to make their visuals.
I wouldn’t have minded seeing some of the supporting characters have their roles fleshed out a bit, and the town itself a bit more detailed, Mitchell could have been made into a northern equivalent of the creepy southern towns that dominate the genre. But with a small budget perhaps it was a better idea to stay with the short run time and the focus on the three main characters. I also could have done without the final “shock” at the end, it’s not needed and feels very out of place. Apart from that however this is a very well done film that will satisfy the fans.
Uncork’d Entertainment will premiere BESETMENT on VOD June 6 with a DVD release to follow September 5.