(director/writer: John Adams/Toby Poser; cinematographer: John Adams/Toby Poser; editor: John Adams; music: John Adams; cast: Toby Poser (Ivy), John Adams (Kurt), Zelda Adams (Echo), Shawn Wilson (Dell), Joan Poser (Mrs. Minskey), Inderpreet Singh Khangura (Ben), Bob Lane (Detective Sanford), Izzy Figueredo (Detective Davide), Milli Lupinetti (Bartender); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Toby Poser; Wonder Wheel production; 2019-Canada)

A winning inventive film shot as a family collaborative effort for $11, 000.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Co-directors and writers John Adams and Toby Poser (“The Shoot”), a husband and wife team, do more than a decent job in this minor wintry ghost film. A winning inventive film shot as a family of three collaborative effort for $11, 000.

Ivy (Toby Poser), a medium by trade, lives alone in the country in upstate New York with her 14-year-old daughter Echo (Zelda Adams, John & Toby’s real-life kid). The lively kid is into wearing black lipstick and listening to old-style jazz music. One night while out sledding Echo is mortally wounded in an accident. The nearest neighbor, a loner named Kurt (John Adams), who is fixing up a local abandoned property for resale, is driving while drunk. He strikes Echo and seriously injures her. In a panic, he disposes her body on his property while she still is alive, and doesn’t report the accident. When Echo fails to return home that night, her panicky mom calls the police. When there’s no trace of her daughter, Ivy turns to her psychic readings (tarot cards) and the mystical signs point to Kurt. Meanwhile the spirit of Echo, wanting to return to mom, enters Kurt’s head and he has nightmarish visions that force him to openly confront the evil deed he committed.

It works well enough as a ghost story, even if its plot is not much, the performances are merely adequate and its execution is far from perfect. But what comes through with much delight is the passion the family had for their film and how ambitious it was despite such a scant budget.

The off-beat indie is currently playing at the 2019 Fantasia Fest.

Copy picture

REVIEWED ON 7/1/2019       GRADE: B