We all hear voices in our heads. Usually, it’s our own telling us what we should, or probably shouldn’t do in a given situation. It’s when that voice claims to be a deity or some supernatural being that things can get messy. What if it’s just Athena? Director Robert W. Filion and writer Michael Louis Calvillo take the idea of that inner voice and run with it in ATHENA. And where they end up is some pretty interesting territory.
Carl (Matthew Ewald, PLAN 9) is scarred both emotionally and physically since the death of his wife. He seems to have a bottle of whiskey surgically attached to his hand and lives alone with his wiener dog Dodger. He also has recurring dreams of the fire that killed his wife and hears a voice that calls itself Athena(Mahri Shelton PULLED TO HELL). And Athena wants what’s best for Carl, and that includes urging him to go after the woman he’s obsessed with Emily(Vanelle DARK AWAKENING).
Sounds like the setup for a typical slasher film doesn’t it? Things, however, take a wicked turn when Emily begins to hear Athena as well. And it seems she and Carl have some history. And bugs and parasites, and samurai swords
There’s really no way to get to into the plot of ATHENA without spoiling it. It’s a complex tale told from multiple viewpoints and where nothing is what it seems to be. It’s a dark, complex film that never gives in to cliches or takes the path of least resistance. And that may have been the film’s problem, its IMDB entry lists it as a 2015 film but it won Best Screenplay at the 2014 Buffalo Dreams Festival (where I’d likely have seen it if I hadn’t moved here from Buffalo earlier that year) and its FB page has postings from 2013.
I can only imagine that the fact it isn’t what passes for commercial horror these days is what kept it back for so long. Still, it’s surprising in a way that ATHENA wasn’t picked up by a smaller niche distributor a lot sooner. It’s certainly well made, Filion’s main gig is as a Director of Photography, (most recently on RED EYE which we reviewed here), and the film is beautifully shot. Some of the dream sequences suffer from weak CGI, but I’ve seen a lot worse out there.
ATHENA is available on Amazon Video. It’s an odd, but rewarding film if you’re willing to take the risk.