Tag: Black Fawn

Fantasia Festival 2020: The Oak Room (2020) Review

Fantasia Festival 2020: The Oak Room (2020) Review

There is something oddly unsettling about the isolation and bitter cold found in the Canadian North. The moody atmosphere and sense of dread that comes from these conditions is only made worse when a storm rolls in, cutting all remaining connection to the outside world. This is the setting of The Oak Room, using the isolation and a bitter winter storm as the backdrop for a film filled with story, betrayal and violence, that will keep you on the edge of your seat as each new layer is pulled away.

Directed by Cody Calahan (Let Her Out) and written by Peter Genoway in an adaptation of his stage play, The Oak Room is a minimalist thriller that delves into the isolation and depravity that lurks just underneath the surface. During a bitter storm, Steve (RJ Mitte) bursts into a bar just as it is closing for the night. After years of being away, he is back to deal with the aftermath of his life, along with settle old scores with bartender Paul (Peter Outerbridge). As the two delve into past sins, Steve offers up a story as a form of payment for past mistakes, and what follows is a journey into mistaken identity, small-town grudges, and the brutality of strangers.

Fantasia Festival 2020: The Oak Room (2020) Review 1
The Oak Room (2020)

The Oak Room is ultimately a story about stories, with the different aspects of Steve’s tale giving a larger insight into the town, and the people in it. As more details about antagonist Michael (Ari Millen) are revealed, and reluctant Paul becomes more invested in the tale, the truth of how all the characters interconnect is slowly uncovered. As Steve reveals more, and the simple story becomes darker and more depraved, Paul finds himself demanding more, only to fear what these answers could mean. The Oak Room is a slow burn that demands it’s audience take each new aspect in, building to a crescendo of violence and fear. 

With the movie using a single set for the most of the runtime, The Oak Room boils down the narrative to the bare essentials, using the nuance and atmosphere to paint a picture of isolation, tension and hate with precision and care. It is a feat few films do with larger budgets or more elaborate concepts, and Calahan must be commended on doing so much with so little.

Fantasia Festival 2020: The Oak Room (2020) Review 2
The Oak Room (2020)

But even with a great setting, it will be the acting and tension built by the performance that makes or breaks a film, and thankfully Outerbridge and Mitte take to their roles with style and a sense of tension that will keep the audience glued to their seats. While The Oak Room is a relatively simple story, the performances of the main cast and supporting characters elevate it into something engaging, stressful and demanding your attention.

The Oak Room is a film about storytelling and uses that concept to paint a uniquely personal narrative. While minimalistic, it delves into the depravity of your fellow man, and while it may not be as bombastic as other movies in the genre, the subtle tension and attention to detail craft a viewing experience like no other. Premiering at the 2020 Fantasia Festival, if you have a chance to catch this little film, do yourself a favour and hunker down for a brutal slow burn of a stormy night you won’t soon forget. 

Black Fawn Announce “Night of Digital Screams” Watch Party 1

Black Fawn Announce “Night of Digital Screams” Watch Party

With everyone stuck in quarantine, there has never been a greater need for new, riveting content to dive into. Thankfully Black Fawn Distribution has announced a free “Night of Digital Screams” watch party, offering up a triple bill of engaging horror content. In support of National Canadian Film Day, the stream will take place on April 22 at 8:00 PM EST via Twitch.

The event will feature three movies from the Black Fawn Distribution catalogue: I’ll Take Your Dead, Let Her Out, and Bed of the Dead, and will include a few surprises for those fans that choose to tune in.

If that were not enough, Black Fawn Distribution is also offering up a 50% sale on their physical media via their online store starting today. The sale will include all the most recent releases including films such as Harpoon, I’ll Take Your Dead and The Ranger. Black Fawn Distribution also outlined that they are offering all their VOD rentals for $2 per 7 day period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re so proud of our fellow Canadians for doing the right thing and staying inside right now, that we felt that putting together a few initiatives would help everyone out,” states Black Fawn Distribution’s Operations Manager C.F. Benner. “Films are currently being consumed at record levels and it was important to us to have our Canadian titles available to everyone, regardless of where they live or their financial situation. The TWITCH broadcast especially gives film fans a bit of a break while also allowing them to still support Canadian-made horror.”

Black Fawn Distribution is considered to be one of Canada’s premiere outlets for horror films and routinely releases titles made by up-and-coming Canadian directors. Some of their previous releases include Bite, In the House of Flies, Discopath and The Heretics while more releases are scheduled to be released digitally in the near future.

“As the world sits in self-isolation, Black Fawn Distribution wanted to bring some Canadian horror to Canadian horror fans across the country with this special TWITCH broadcast,” explains the company’s Marketing Manager Christopher Giroux. “The TWITCH platform allows us to screen films for our fans while also bringing in some special guests throughout the broadcast. We just want to do our part to bring National Canadian Film Day to everyone at home.”

For anyone looking for some good genre cinema tonight, grab the milk duds, some soda, and tune-in to the Black Fawn Twitch for some good old-fashioned free horror.