The Unfolding, 2016.
Directed by Eugene McGing.
Starring Robert Daws, Nick Julian, Lachlan Nieboer and Lisa Kerr.
A paranormal researcher and his girlfriend spend a few nights at a remote house in the middle of Dartmoor. Things soon start to go bump in the night and the couple, along with some fellow researchers, find themselves in dangerous situation.
The Unfolding follows Tam (Lachlan Nieboer) and Rose (Lisa Kerr) on an excursion to a very misty Dartmoor. Tam is a paranormal researcher and wants to stay in a supposedly haunted house in the area and decides to turn the opportunity into a romantic weekend. Set in October 2016 and in the backdrop of a potential Nuclear War, the film is shown as ‘found footage’. Kitchens get turned upside down by invisible entities, doors open by themselves at night and the sound of screaming babies can be heard just as the couple are settling down to sleep. When two fellow researcher friends and a medium turn up, things get even spookier as the group try to help a murderous ghost go towards the light.
We know what you’re thinking. A film about the paranormal set in an old house and in the style of found footage? Yes you have seen this film before but you’ve never seen it set in the landscape of an impending Nuclear War! Don’t worry though, because that landscape of an impending Nuclear War has literally no effect on the story whatsoever.
The Unfolding is both disappointing and slightly impressive. Although they were clearly working on a budget, with some clever camera work and some decent sound editing the film does scare. Sometimes. Actually, the scares are few and far between, and mostly involve the sound of really loud crying babies when you least expect it. Not the most intelligent of ways to scare the audience but when working on a budget, it could be considered quite clever.
A large portion of the film consists of arty shots of webs, insects and flowers. While beautifully done, you may find yourself growing tired of these shots. The time spent focusing on these trivial things would be better used getting to know our characters in more detail. An unfortunate side effect of the found footage style means that we don’t get to see a lot of our protagonists, meaning you won’t really feel anything for them by the end; quite frankly, due to the wasted time filming insects, you probably won’t care what happens to them at the end.
It can be appreciated that to make this film different from all of the other found footage scare fests out there, the film makers have decided to set this against the threat of Nuclear War. The group listen to the daily radio news about the threats and quietly murmur about how scary it is out there. This is really quite pointless. The threat of this war just doesn’t add anything to the film at all. It could all be edited out, cutting the film time from 90 minutes to 80 and the film would be exactly the same.
Overall, The Unfolding is predictable and slow. It has tried too hard to set itself apart from the other horror films that fall into the same category. In doing this, it has detracted from the film itself, with both the protagonists and antagonists being left fairly under developed. There are a couple of good scares and some well shot scenes but ultimately, The Unfolding should be given a miss.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★