Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Retreat Review: A Solid Suspenseful Same-Sex Slasher

Aaron Ashmore	...	James Rossif Sutherland	Rossif Sutherland	...	Gavin Celina Sinden	Celina Sinden	...	Layna Munro Chambers	Munro Chambers	...	Scott Sarah Allen	Sarah Allen	...	Valerie Patrick Garrow	Patrick Garrow	...	Huck Chad Connell	Chad Connell	...	Connor Tommie-Amber Pirie	Tommie-Amber Pirie	...	Renee Gavin Fox	Gavin Fox	...	Victor Joey Coleman	Joey Coleman	...	Jed Don Masters	Don Masters	...	Shopkeeper

Release date: May 21, 2021
Running time: 87 minutes
Directed By: Pat Mills
Written By: Alyson Richards 
Starring: Tommie-Amber Piri and Sarah Allen

Renee and Valerie, a couple at a cross roads in their relationship, leave the city to spend the week at a remote cabin with friends. But when they arrive, their friends are nowhere to be found. As they stumble through their relationship woes, they discover they are being hunted by a group of militant extremists who are determined to exterminate them.

Directed by  Pat Mills	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Alyson Richards	...	(written by)
The Retreat bills itself as a lesbian slasher film and thankfully it lives up to both parts of that billing.  The main characters are lesbian and the film is ultimately a good slasher movie.  The film has a great slasher setting with the remote wilderness area causing lots of unease.  The woods can get very dark to make sure you are straining yourself to see every nook and cranny of  the screen (side note, make sure to have a decent setup as there are some very dark scenes that might look washed out depending on your television / monitor).  There are also plenty of wilderness sounds to make you jump at every crack of a branch or ruffle of leaves.  And being set in a remote cabin also is perfect for this genre as you have a young couple escape the safety of the urban environment only to be stranded when everything goes so horribly wrong.  And the story of The Retreat moves along nicely, with plenty going on early to keep you excited and on edge.

The Retreat has a smart use of budget as well.  The movie focuses on realistic practical effects and doesn't try to do too much.  It leads to an authentic look and feel without the reliance on CG.  The film has plenty of creepy scenes and gore that does not break your sense of immersion as you watch what is happening.  But while The Retreat has good practical effects, some of the gun effects are muted.  The weapons go off but the sound is not realistic and sometimes the film will cut away so you don't actually see it firing.  I assume this was for budgetary purposes, but it is a little distracting as well.  Additionally, the film tries to tie the events to prejudice, which isn't a bad angle, but also feels a little tacked on and like it came from nowhere.  It also leads to an unrealistic type of setup when you consider how many similar events there must have been for the story to make sense.  Additionally, I wish that the film had more of a build up at the start.  I feel like it could have benefited from a little time in the cabin before everything went horribly wrong.  As it stands, the movie gets into the slasher part of it pretty quickly and I would have liked a little more bliss before the blood.  But all that being said, The Retreat is just a well made slasher film that will keep you entertained and on edge.

The Retreat is a solid slasher film with good practical effects, plenty of suspense and gore, and a very creepy setting for this lesbian couple to explore.

Rent it.

Produced by  Mark Gingras	...	executive producer Lauren Grant	...	producer Leah Jaunzems	...	executive producer John Laing	...	executive producer Berry Meyerowitz	...	executive producer Emma Phelan	...	executive producer Alyson Richards	...	producer Jeff Sackman	...	executive producer
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The Retreat is available in theaters and on VOD on May 21, 2021.  

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