Consumption

One crisp winter's day, four friends decide to head up to the mountains of Utah for a vacation. The family of one friend, Seth (David Lautman) has a condo there, and it's a great place to get away from it all and relax. And they all seem like they really need to relax. Sounds like a good plan, right? Don't let it fool you.

First of all, Seth is a little twitchy. Okay, he's acting extremely weird and secretive, as in he only reluctantly tells his best friend (Eric, played by Chris Dorman) that his mother Sue (Maria Olsen, Mark of the Witch) has just died. He freaks out a little more every time someone tries to talk to him about it, and the same happens when his girlfriend Becca (Sarah Greyson) tries to talk to him about anything at all.

Meanwhile, Mallory (Arielle Brachfeld) is struggling to overcome the urge to cut herself while boyfriend Eric struggles to stay sober. I can't decide if they're ridiculously dysfunctional or if they're actually good for each other in the end. But Eric has smuggled a flask along and tensions are rising there as well. Add in Ferry (Myles Cranford) the "creepy lumberjack" and the far more creepy condo managers and you know you've got a horror movie. (The managers are "the Pats", Patrick and Patricia, played by Geoffrey Gould and Nancy Wolfe, also of Mark of the Witch, and yes, they really are more unsettling than the guy with the ax.)

Events turn stranger and stranger, until suddenly people are performing dark rituals to summon forth ancient nameless evil and you're not sure how things got quite so out of hand. Unfortunately, the main reason things get out of control is because there are too many things going on. We've got an otherwise normal person killing and dismembering close relatives, doomsday cultists kidnapping people, and of course the aforementioned ancient nameless evil possessing the unwary. In a way it's interesting to see how all these plots interact but mostly it's just confusing.

I'll give it three and a half out of five, though. The acting was solid, it didn't turn into a bloodbath for the sake of being a bloodbath, and despite being occasionally befuddled -- I'm still not entirely sure what was up with the epilogue -- I was certainly never bored. Thanks to the isolation of the mountains the atmosphere was quietly creepy for the most part, at least until all the plots start running into each other and it becomes quietly confusing instead.

Image: 
This is Mallory. She's not having the best of days.

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