Swing Low

GBFF 2019 Review: ‘Swing Low’ Is An Art House ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’

Bathed in the golden glow of the waning sun, a lone figure, gun slung over her shoulder, strides into view to the pulsing beat of a grinding soundtrack. This gorgeously filmed, perfectly framed opening of debut director Teddy Grennan’s Swing Low would look at home in any cool independent art film. But don’t be fooled. Beneath the exterior beats the heart of a tense, thrilling horror film.

Swing Low stars Annabelle Dexter-Jones (Ava’s Possessions 2015 – read our review here), Robert Longstreet (Doctor Sleep 2019), Bruce Dern (The Burbs 1996, Freaks 2018 – read our review here), Ross Partridge (Stranger Things TV series), and Chris Pinkalla (Among Ravens 2014). It’s playing as a part of the GenreBlast Film Festival in Winchester, Virginia, which will run from August 29, 2019 – September 1, 2019.

Genre Blast 2019

Synopsis for Swing Low

When a nature photographer explains to the Police how she fought her way out of the Watchatoomy Valley, they dismiss her crazed and violent story as a meth-induced nightmare. But when they discover that she’s telling the truth, it’s too late.

Swing Low

I’m going to be honest… movies about crazed locals attacking outsiders are way too common, and most of them are pretty terrible. But, it’s time to make way for the exception! The success of Swing Low all boils down to the details. The heroine, Harper Sykes (Dexter-Jones), is a terrific blend of feminism and grit that makes her likable and, most importantly, believable. This isn’t some good looking girl who suddenly learns how to fight back. The fact that Harper knows how to survive doesn’t seem to be a surprise because Dexter-Jones embodies it completely with her entire performance. I really can’t say enough about her acting, which anchors the entire movie.

Swing Low is a trip to watch. It’s typical “thugs pursue prey in the woods” storyline is bathed in such beautiful light that you sometimes think you’re watching a Merchant Ivory film. The sun streams so softly through the trees that even a decapitation becomes a work of art. The other actors do fantastic jobs too, and Bruce Dern (always a favorite of mine) digs into his role with menacing teeth. It’s been a long time since I have enjoyed this type of film so much – probably since I first saw the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I cannot – I repeat! – I cannot recommend a film more than this one. Swing Low succeeds on every level, and the ending is a doozy. So, what are you waiting for? Go find it now!

Check out the trailer below:


Are you as excited about this movie as I am? Is that even possible? Let us know in the comments below!

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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