Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Caveat Review: An Atmospheric and Tense Indie Horror Film

Directed by  Damian Mc Carthy	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Damian Mc Carthy	Cast   Ben Caplan	Ben Caplan	...	Barret Conor Dwane	Conor Dwane	...	Olga's dad Jonathan French	Jonathan French	...	Isaac Leila Sykes	Leila Sykes	...	Olga Produced by  Justin Hyne	...	producerMusic by  Richard G. Mitchell	Cinematography by  Kieran Fitzgerald	...	(as Keiran Fitzgerald)Film Editing by  Damian Mc Carthy	Production Design by  Damian Draven

Release date: June 3, 2021
Running time: 88 minutes
Starring: Ben Caplan (Band of Brothers, Call the Midwife), Jonathan French (A Soldier's Voice), and Leila Sykes (Missing Something)
Written and Directed By: Damian McCarthy

In Caveat, Lone drifter Isaac accepts a job to look after his landlord's niece, Olga, for a few days in an isolated house on a remote island. It seems like easy money, but there’s a catch: he must wear a leather harness and chain that restricts his movements to certain rooms. Once Olga's uncle, Barrett leaves the two of them alone, a game of cat and mouse ensues as Olga displays increasingly erratic behavior as a trapped Isaac makes a series of horrific discoveries in the house.

Makeup Department  Miriam McCarthy	...	makeup artistSecond Unit Director or Assistant Director  Justin Hyne	...	first assistant directorArt Department  Fintan Collins	...	set builderSound Department  Richard De Mowbray	...	re-recording mixer Sylvain Le Bihanic	...	boom operator Hugo Parvery	...	sound mixerCamera and Electrical Department  Rob O'Halloran	...	first assistant cameraEditorial Department  Mitchell Harris	...	additional editorThanks  Tiffany-Ellen Robinson
Caveat is such a well done indie horror film that leans on its strengths to great effect.  The movie mostly takes place in a dilapidated house that is the perfect setting for this unsettling mystery.  The walls are crumbling, there is grime everywhere, and there is plenty of older technology that all enhance the ambiance.  There are creepy paintings on the wall that add to the sinister edge without saying much, and the toys that are shown in the film also feel like they are from a different time.  The rabbit especially is a creepy addition to this already unsettling film with its worn look and classic drumming ability.  And the sense of tension in this film is helped by a very slow build up.  Caveat takes its time introducing everything to the viewer and giving them plenty of time to digest the entire house and its atmosphere.  Isaac spends a lot of time alone in the house (or seemingly alone) and this leads to lots of unsettling situations.  And speaking of Isaac, Jonathan French does an amazing job as the lone drifter and seeing his transformation in the house is something to behold.  The film occasionally flashes back to earlier in Isaac's life, and the differences between his earlier time and how he looks in the house are striking.  And Leila Sykes as Olga also does a fine unsettling job.  Her character is erratic and it shows through in her performance.

Caveat is also masterfully shot.  You can tell it is an indie but the camera work is well done.  And the film has an understanding of light and putting just enough into context to make the viewer unsettled.  There are several scenes where a creepy view is shown for an instant only to then be taken away.  And there are also scenes where we expect something to happen only to have nothing occur.  The film uses light and shadows to great effect and keeps the viewer on edge throughout.  And there are just enough subtle supernatural aspects to this film that it adds to the tension without being too overt.  There is a very creepy rabbit that is used to detect when this occurs putting the viewer on edge when they hear the little drumming sound. 

And like the expert use of light, the film also masterfully uses sound to keep the viewer guessing.  Some sounds will occur just off screen, keeping the viewer on edge.  And the film will use similar sounding voices and noises to keep you guessing what is happening.  If there is a negative, it is that there really didn't need to be the supernatural elements in this film.  I would have preferred it without so that the viewer's imagination could fill those in without needing to have the extra step of unexplained occurrences.

Caveat is a masterfully done indie horror film with a use of light and sound that plays with the viewers senses and keeps them on edge throughout this tension-filled film.

Watch it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Caveat is available to stream on Shudder starting June 3, 2021. 

No comments:

Post a Comment