A couple trying to rebuild their relationship after the death of a child. That’s a familiar plotline in several genres, most notably drama and horror. In Silhouette writer/director Mitch McLeod, who’s previous film Arc was a relationship drama, mixes drama and horror in large amounts to create a slow burn nightmare.
Jack (Tom Zembrod, Knucklebones, The Harrowing) and Amanda (April Hartman, High Moon) are trying to keep their marriage together after the death of their daughter Sarah (Savannah Solsbery, Sacrament). It doesn’t help that Jack also has issues keeping things in his pants. They relocate to a secluded house to work on their relationship and try to heal the rift between them.
However, it doesn’t take long before Jack becomes entirely too friendly with their neighbor Dawn (Jessica Dawn Willis, Lake Fear, Ghost Note). Amanda meanwhile begins seeing what appears to be Sarah’s ghost. But is she really being haunted, or is it just a troubled mind acting out?
Interestingly one of the first things that caught my attention about Silhouette was the casting of Tom Zembrod. I’ve seen him in a few films now. But he usually spends most of his time covered in makeup or in a suit playing creatures. Turns out he’s as good at playing humans struggling with their demons as he is at playing demons. Indeed the performances in the film are all above average. April Hartman has a difficult task. She to play a role where she has to be convincing while keeping unsure of her sanity. And she keeps us unsure, right up to an unexpected conclusion.
It’s a good thing the cast is at the top of their game because Silhouette doesn’t have much in the way of jump scares or gore to distract an audience. The cast has to sell the material here, which they do despite the just under two-hour running time. That’s about 15 minutes longer than the film needs to be, and it drags a bit during the second half. Tightening this up would have really helped the film.
Despite that and a budget of only $25,000, Silhouette is a very solid film with a lot going for it. The cinematography, in particular, carries a sense of menace that helps keep the viewer on edge.
Silhouette is currently finishing up a well-received festival run. ITN has picked it up and will be releasing it later this year. You can get updates on exactly when on their Facebook page.