Arts & Culture

Nova Scotian made film debuts at AFF

Atlantic Film Festival Review: The Crescent

Nova Scotian made film debuts at AFF
written by Piper MacDougall
September 23, 2017 7:32 pm

Filmed off of the South Shore of Nova Scotia, The Crescent unfolds as a horrifying tale of mother and son who visit a family beach house following the death of a loved one.

Nova Scotia filmmaker Seth Smith directs the film. It’s original, experimental and visually gripping.

Mother, Beth (Danika Vandersteen,) crafts paper marbling – a process of dipping paper into ink, creating a polychromatic effect that is visually mesmerizing like a kaleidoscope.

The film uses clips of this process as an element that is both haunting and hypnotizing. Her art is symbolic to the sea and the characters from it: puzzling, mysterious, and full of twists and turns.

Like any horror film, it starts off slow. Setting the scene and leaving you to wait a little too long for something unexpected to happen. The scenes themselves are so drawn out that the 99-minute film feels endless. But its effective use of music and sound will give you goosebumps.

If you ever wondered what a toddler would on his own for a day this movie gives you a glimpse into that world.

Two-year-old Lowen (Woodrow Graves) is the real-life son of Smith and the film’s producer, Nancy Urige; he will have you on your toes. He steals the screen and your heart.

Polaroids and the use of unique frames uphold the artistic and avant-garde feel of the picture. Multiple frames and cameras feel like you’re observing Stephan King put together a scrapbook. The style is effective in creating a dreamlike sequence. One frame literally flips you upside down.

You may get lost in the art like the characters do, and it will have you arguing with the person next to you about what really happened. It all makes the individual experience reminiscent of a choose-your-own-adventure book.

Rating: 4/5 Stars