*there are major spoilers here and readers are encouraged to see this title before reading this review.
**a screener of this film was provided by producer Ann Rotolante.
Director/writer: Patrick Steele.
Cast: Carolyn McCormick, Marianne Porter, Reg Land, David Darlow, John Woodruff, Marc Pitman, Michael Accardo, and Kevin R. Kelly.
True Nature is one of those films that leaves one in awe as the final credits roll. Director Patrick Steele's first film involves an excellent script, some compelling action and a psychological journey that few will forget. As well, Steele's picture blends genres, with True Nature transforming throughout the film's short ninety minutes. This title is a true chameleon as lead character Marianne (Marianne Porter) deals with some difficult trauma and troubling memories.
The film focuses primarily on the character Marianne. She is a young woman who disappears late at night, while running. She reappears muddy, hurt and scared over a year later, with no memory of what has happened to her. Yet, Marianne's psyche reveals her awful abuse at the hands of her father's business partners through dreams and visions. Marianne's innocence is lost. She is now compelled to murder those who tormented her.
What will Marianne do next?
Marianne's transformation is a sight to see. And, this character influences the film's many genres. True Nature begins much like a puzzle or mystery. When Marianne returns from her disappearance, it is difficult to tell what happened to her. Her past is filled in through a series of flashbacks. This title slowly changes into a thriller through its first act, with other characters revealing their shady business practices. Every character is under some sort of pressure. Marianne's continued anguish turns into violence and her interactions with a shadowy image create for some of the film's psychological influenced drama. Marianne's secondary personality demands revenge. So, the film transforms into a horror piece late into Act 3. Body gore litters many settings. Her interactions with her dad (Reg Land) then lead the film into its final genre, tragedy. Marianne's father, Reg, suffers from his inability to protect his daughter from his ruthless and greedy competitors. He feels suicide is his only outlet. True Nature seems to change its personality as more and more of Marianne's horrifying past is revealed, late in the picture.
Keep it together mom!
Marianne's psychological transformation is a sight to behold. She begins as a victim upon her return. But, she becomes more and more erratic. She conflicts with her mother, Becky (Carolyn McCormick), over trivial matters, while later waking up in her front yard. Marianne has a contentious relationship with her father. A part of her knows that he is responsible for some of her abuse. She is ambivalent towards him and his actions. Yet, it is not until late in the film that his role is shown more clearly. Meanwhile, Marianne is seeing dream imagery during her waking day, while sleep eludes her. Marianne's damaged psyche and quest for revenge creates for some of the film's more curious and bloody moments.
True Nature has recently released on DVD through Monarch Home Entertainment and thriller or horror film fans are encouraged to pick this title up! Steele's first venture into the movie world is a strong showing and many viewers will find this film exciting to see. This title is well acted almost all around and only a few scenes seem strange (a burial scene). Through and through, True Nature is an exceptional indie film that will thrill many and surprise others.
Overall: 8 out of 10 (acting by Reg Land is stiff initially, unpredictable, a strong character arc for Marianne, multiple genres used, an open ending).
*this title released on DVD January 22nd, 2013.
The film's fan page is located here:
True Nature on Facebook
A website for this title is available here:
True Nature's Official Website
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