Director – Nathan Hine (The Last Day’s of Livermore, Keepsake!)
Starring – Nathan Hine, Mike Knapp, and Tiffany Laskey (Keepsake!)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “There is no light at the end of this tunnel”
I’m a member of a few dozen horror groups. They are all pretty much the same but sometimes you find interesting movies in different groups at different times. Sometime back I saw pictures pop up for indie horror film The Sideling Hill from director Nathan Hine (who goes by a different name on social media). The film looked interesting so I tried to keep track of it.
Sadly, I forgot about it over time until my friend Bob over at Point and Shoot films announced he was releasing the film for a limited time on blu. I went to order a copy but was too busy with work. When I remembered to order a copy after work it was too late. They were already gone. A few weeks passed and a friend of mine was selling his copy because he didn’t like it and I was able to snag it from him.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Adam (Hine) who is a former soldier struggling with PTSD. His friends Harry (Knapp) and Allie (Laskey) decide to take Adam along with them to an abandoned tunnel for a walk through. The tunnel is a bit of a local legend and is known as a paranormal hotspot. This leaves Adam on edge most of the trip but once he arrives his imagination runs wild and he is forced to live out his nightmares which includes are former military friend that he lost while they were deployed. **Spoiler Alert**
I was extremely excited to check this one out. I remember watching Hine’s short The Last Day’s of Livermore and loved the imagery and scenery along with the story. It was a solid, well made short that showed the filmmaker had similar interests in horror as myself. Sadly, The Sideling Hill had an interesting premise and ended on the bloody right foot but it just didn’t flow well until that point. A few of my friends that bought the blu release of the film told me they didn’t care for it but I wanted to check it out for myself.
The acting in this one is decent. The cast all has limited on screen experience but they dedicated it all to their roles and it works. They all do a solid job which really helps move the story, or lack there of, along.
The story for this one is what really turned me off from the film. I loved the concept of a man suffering from PTSD going to a supposedly haunted or cursed tunnel only to snap. I absolutely fucking love that. Real horror is the best horror. However, the road to this point in the story is extremely rocky. The film moves at a snails pace with some character development but very little done to build upon the story. I’ll be honest and admit that I struggled to finish the film because the first hour and 15 minutes was so uneventful.
Finally, the last 15 or 20 minutes of the film is nothing but a fucking bloodbath. Hines shows that he is a fan of old school practical effects and throws everything at the viewer. We get some phenomenal practical effects and gallons of blood. Fans of the red stuff will want to see this one just for the blood but don’t take the long road. A quick fast forward will be a more enjoyable experience. Overall, The Sideling Hill was not the film I was expecting. Sure, the ending was in line with the film I was wanting to see but the build up to that was an extremely slow one. I wanted to like it but I just couldn’t. This is one I cannot recommend.