If April Hartman ever decides she needs a new reel to showcase her talent, all she has to do is send potential directors a copy of Silhouette. The new supernatural horror-drama is successful for a number of reasons, its camera work, its classical ghost story, and – obviously – the invigorating performance from its lead, Ms. Hartman. A collaboration between Absentia Films, Skeleton Kreek and Film Conspiracy Group, Silhouette sees a couple, Jack and Amanda, soon after the sudden passing of their young daughter. In attempt to make a break from their trauma and start their lives a new, they move to a secluded area, and take up residency in a quaint but ominous house. Right after moving in, the situation goes from bad to worse when the sins of their past come back to haunt them…literally. Jack and Amanda’s dead daughter starts appearing to them at night, driving a wedge between the couple and testing their sanity. But what does she want? Written, directed and produced by Mitch Mcleod, Silhouette stars April Hartman, Tom Zembrod, Jessica Dawn Willis, Savannah Solsbery and Kim Foster.
I know I’ve focused mostly on Ms. Hartman at this point, and I don’t want to overlook her co-star, Tom Zembrod. He did a fantastic job creating on screen chemistry with April, and sharing in the drama and terror, but she just stole the show. If it hasn’t already, Silhouette is destined to win numerous awards in the film festival circuit in performance categories. Acting is such an integral part to any film or television project, so I’m happy that Mitch Mcleod and his team got it so right here. The characters take you through every stage of grief, with a particular emphasis on depression and denial, before smacking you across the face with supernatural terror. When you throw on the amazing camera work from cinematographer and editor Marc Rouse, Silhouette looks like a million bucks. I loved the way the style of filming was dark and hazy yet somehow still clear and super professional. The opening of the film grabs you and the ending is absolutely haunting. These guys really knew what they were doing and this title far exceeded my expectations.
And let me not forget to mention the apparitions of the young daughter. In this day and age, audiences are used to people getting dragged around by their hair by unseen forces of evil. That’s not the case with Silhouette. It takes a very old-school approach, much like the ghost movies pre-Poltergeist. It was nostalgic and eerie and gave way for the story and the actors to sell sell sell what Silhouette has to offer. It sells you heaps of mood! Silhouette is nothing short of powerful and it’s independent horror at its finest. It’s disturbing, sad, and even a little bloody. More than anything, it’s a testament to what grief and loss can do to a person. When Silhouette is inevitably picked up by a distributor for home media release, I would definitely recommend picking it up as long as you can appreciate a slow-building, emotionally draining story lead by a fantastic cast. You have to really appreciate thematic movies if you’re going to survive the lulls in action and suspense. Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.