This is a very well presented, and unique psychological horror film. It’s rather tense, and shocking as well when it aims to deliver some gore. Things start out rather peacefully as Avery Malone (Sara Garcia) works as a lonely librarian. She wants to be a writer, but doesn’t truly aspire to reach that goal. This changes when she gets her big break, and gets hand-picked to assist her favorite yet entirely mysterious author Caleb Conrad (John Cassini).
He’s a recluse, and notes that the art should be the focus of his work instead of the individual behind it. This is why he’s mostly unknown to the public, and this helps set the state of mind for the situation this movie sends us into. What’s rather neat here is the use of a minimal space, it’s almost entirely shot within a small cabin. While it might be small, it feels expansive and they use the various areas very well.
Moving past that, most of the narrative is based on the idea of what she’s experiencing. Conrad is testing some methods for some realistic inspirations, and it can be hard to tell what’s real. This is great as you’re constantly being sent in all directions with twists along the way. It definitely makes sense as you watch it entirely through, but it’s neat that you’re not sure where things might end up. Backing this is the cooperative writing of the novel, and really tense horror based action.
A key part of this film was the lead, Sara Garcia’s Avery was great. She really nailed that part and delivered in every scene. She had great range from some more intense moments of madness, to ones of sorrow and also provided a heroic light when needed.
Opposing her, at least from the partner style situation to write the book, Cassini was mostly great as the reclusive Conrad. There are some other characters involved, but it’s largely these two as everyone else mostly acts as a starting point to get everything rolling. It’s best to be surprised with this one, and I’ve left it fairly spoiler free so you can be surprised the whole way through.
This was beautifully shot, it looked fantastic while being well framed. It came across as having a high quality to it, whether that was with the scenes of intense paranoia or when it had moments of wild gore. You’re also of course having some confusion layered in there, which is neat.
It’s a test of lead’s will, as the two works towards getting into the mind set of their target for this book. Again, they used a small amount of space perfectly and you don’t even really notice that it is limited to a few intimate locations within a small cabin.
True Fiction is an excellent psychological horror film that keeps you guessing, and continues to surprise along the way. You’ll find some scenes rather shocking, and get laughs at others. It’s neat how you’re trying to solve what’s going on with that perspective consistently changing along the way. The acting from Garcia was fantastic, and a stand out here.
This was a very unique setup, and I felt they used the concept to its full potential. A back and forth situation, where things shift around at a moment’s notice. It has some laughs to provide, shocking moments when gore comes into the picture and you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen. It was a fresh venture into horror, there was good tension and I was always surprised until the film’s location.
True Fiction Review at Theater with Standard Viewing during Calgary Film Festival
Screening Provided by Calgary Film