February 28, 2012

Filthy Review - True Nature

True Nature (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

It’s funny how movies attract your attention. There’s the tried and trusted blanket previews and billboards etc. from the bigger companies, but when it comes to more independent cinema there is generally the self-promotion route, which I am all for. Sometimes you’ll see the same thing over and over again, as films compete in a crowded marketplace, until quite frankly you get bored of it. And in my case I quickly lose interest. Then there are the little gems you come across purely by chance, and True Nature is one of them.

I happened to be reading something, totally unrelated, and I saw mention of True nature, so I thought I would do a little research on it. I went the usual route of checking out the website and trailer, and quite frankly I liked what I saw. Of course trailers, as we all know, can be misleading and you really never know what you are going to get until you see the finished product. I did want to see the movie though, so I tracked a copy down.

The movie itself is about the Pascal family, Marianne and her parents Reg and Becky. Reg is working on a Defense contract, Marianne is a future track star recovering from a leg injury and Becky is happy to keep up appearances for the world. They seem to have a wonderful life and on the surface they do. There are the usual snide comments between them, but nothing out of the ordinary, although this all changes though after Marianne disappears whilst out jogging, only to reappear one year later.

What True Nature does very well is blend genres into one, as it is part thriller, part drama and part supernatural horror flick. The fact that this blend works well is credit to the solid writing and direction from Patrick Steele. He has taken familiar themes and elements and turned them into something quite fresh. Even though I had an idea of what was going on the film still kept my attention as the story unfolded.

I didn’t, however, expect these different elements to work as well as they did. The scares, when they come, are spot on thanks to tight editing, the right lighting and excellent use of sound. The violence comes seemingly out of nowhere and really packs a punch, with one or two scenes being fairly tough to watch. There’s even some surprising gore thrown in, which only adds to these scenes rather than take away from them.

Even with the scares and violence that occur during the movie there is still plenty of room for the focus to remain firmly on the family, and the interactions between them. This is especially prevalent upon Marianne’s return. Of course, for this to work there needs to be believable performances from the three leads, and that is what we get. Both Reg Land and Marianne Porter, as Reg and Marianne funnily enough, both give strong performances in their respective roles. Reg as the beaten man and Marianne coming to terms with what has happened to her, and the transformation that takes place. Personally though I felt Carolyn McCormick, in the role of Becky, shone brightest. Her absolute blindness to what is going on, and her subsequent mission to keep up those damned appearances is quite impressive to watch. Also, when I hear my wife telling me that she hates a particular character, in this case Becky, I know for sure she is doing a great job!

True Nature starts with a bang and then slows down, gradually building the story and characters until it reaches its dramatic climax. It’s a well-structured movie that is more interested in tension, atmosphere and solid storytelling than it is in cheap thrills. Sure, you get your violence and gore, in moderation, but it is the uncomfortable journey there that makes it most interesting.

At the time of writing this review True Nature is in the process of seeking out and securing a distribution deal. I hope we don’t have to wait too much longer as this really is a very good movie. Highly recommended.

For more information on True Nature you can check out the Official Site and its Facebook page

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