Everyone in the film business has the first movie that they look back on. Every director has started somewhere, and it helped define them in the business and in the creative endeavors. It strengthens them or weakens them.
I have a lot of admiration for directors, honestly. It’s not an easy job. It’s stressful and tiring, but if you love what you do, it’s also rewarding and fun. Being a director isn’t for everyone which I understand. I tried it, and honestly, it just wasn’t something I could do. Maybe one day in the future.
For new directors, the indie route is usually the best way to go, since you’ll have more freedom, but there are also drawbacks as well. However you slice it, making movies can be a mixture of emotions. I always wish the best for anyone in the business, because what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. This is the topic of the movie I want to talk about: Animosity directed by Velocipastor’s Brendan Steere (read our interview with him here).
The plot for the film:
A newlywed couple moves into a house in the middle of woods only to discover that the surrounding forest is host to sinister supernatural powers which turn them against each other.
Animosity opens with an explosive scene that really blew me away (no pun intended). I won’t spoil it but it’s a damned good way to open any horror movie with a surprise element shocking the audience, and then going right into the story. Although the movie does tend to not really go anywhere after that, there are a few intense scenes as it builds up to the finale. Unfortunately, it didn’t really catch my attention. Watching the characters tell the story, I didn’t feel any connection nor interest. It falls short not really giving us the huge surprise at the end when we find out the truth.
Since it was the first film from Steere, I’m thinking maybe he was learning to get his feet wet or working on a tight schedule or limited funds, or perhaps the FX couldn’t produce the ideal scene the he wanted. This can happen sometimes with directors trying to get their name out there.
The film leaves the audience with Animosity (not making a joke, mind you). It could’ve worked as a short film with snippets of some scenes edited down or not focused on so many characters that don’t really help the story, one that follows the the main characters and their journey as they deal with the issues at hand. The story does have potential but feels rushed, which hurts the finale where it could’ve been interesting and help the tension in the film. Instead, the pressure falls short and the end result doesn’t feel like a horror movie.
Overall, Animosity is completed, and I don’t think the director or crew should feel anything but pride for this movie. They went out to make a film while others are not doing anything. It’s the first film from Brendan Steere, and I know that the director, cast and crew have gone on to do great things. Viewers should watch Animosity and decide for themselves. If anything, at least you can see a debut film from the director who made Velicipastor.