Friday, April 16, 2010

I have to know what it was!!!

I went to see "Dawning" tonight at Maverick 4 Theatres. It's an indie horror movie by Minneapolis filmmaker Gregg Holtgrewe. Very, very creepy.

As I said in my Go&Do column, it's been making a splash at film festivals partly because the villain in the story isn't made known. It's up to the audience to fill in that blank. The story line is about a broken family who goes to stay in a cabin in the woods. After something kills the family dog, a mysterious, bloodied man shows up inside the cabin claiming to need to hide from something outside. Who or what he won't say. So the tension mounts as the family has to decide whether he is the bad guy or whether they should offer him shelter from what's outside. Meanwhile, the situation puts heavy strain on already tenuous family bonds.

By the end, I was really freaked out. Something about the woods in this area of the country is scary enough already. Add an unknown assailant and you've got a recipe for me checking under my bed before I go to sleep tonight.

The cast and crew were at the screening and answered questions from the audience. Despite the unknown villain element really working for the film, I couldn't help but want to raise my hand and say, "Can you just tell us what or who you think was the bad guy?" I just wish I knew. Who or what it was must have been in Gregg's mind at some point during this whole process. I'm desperately wondering what's in his mind. Or maybe the actors had an idea in their minds so they could have a point of reference to react to as they were acting? ... In an age when you can Google an answer to everything, it's tough to not have an answer to something so intriguing.

If anyone else saw it tonight, e-mail me what you think it was at


  1. Thanks for the nice review Amanda and I'm glad you came to the film. In terms of what "it" was, I had a few different ideas going through my head which fed into it but nothing exact...for instance, I had thought about terrorism and the laws being passed to "protect" us and I used that as inspiration for the man to tell the family that something was out there and he was there to protect them but it was basically an unseen force which can't really be explained, which to me, lent itself very well to the idea of these people who are out to get us, etc, etc...I didn't have a personal take on anything but I found that kind of fear interesting. I also looked at the "it" as nothing more than a manifestation of fear by the various characters as their own self-doubt gets prayed upon. I also saw the "it" as a real thing, an evil which just existed as a part of our energy and it allows people to do things they wouldn't normally the things people hear being said by other characters but it isn't or the fact that the man loved his girlfriend but was still able to kill her, just as the father did to his wife and Chris was able to overcome in a sense. Lastly, I looked at this "evil" as the violence in men and how it affects those around them...the man, the husband and the brother are the only real threats and they are all men. Anyway, I could go on but thought I'd write you and shed some light on my thoughts.

  2. Very interesting. I was thinking it was this evil kind of energy, which was alluded to by the antagonist. But it didn't quite make sense to me because the sister didn't seem to come under its power. If it's allegorical, like you mentioned, then I see that. The "feeling" of it was an actual presence, though, like "something" was out there. Also, the way the father seemed to come under a sort of power, it made me question a theory that maybe it simply was just a very tenuous situation bringing out the worst in people, making them turn on each other and react in unimaginable ways. Again, allegorically, I see that completely. But it just seemed like there was something more literal going on there. So I was really torn in what I should be thinking. Thanks for your thoughts. I was really curious.