Director – Dutch Marich (Infernum, Horror in the High Desert)
Starring – Laurie Felix Bass (Dead Power, Dead Cruelty), Suziey Block (Pickle’s Horror Show, Dude Bro Part Massacre III), and Brooke Bradshaw (Reaptown, Miserable Sinners)
Release Date – 2023
Rating – 3/5
Back in 2021 I was asked to review the found footage horror flick Horror in the High Desert from director Dutch Marich. I’m not a fan of found footage and though I often struggle to finish them, I found myself actually enjoying the film. I’ve written reviews for Horror Society since 2013 and while I’ve done thousands of reviews by this point, this one is easily my most popular. My reviews often go unnoticed aside from the day or so after their initial posting.
However, my review for Horror in the High Desert is easily my most popular review and often over takes my most popular post of all time on the site with daily views. When Dutch announced a follow up film I knew I would have to review it just because of how popular the first one was. He sent me a review link a few weeks back but I wasn’t able to get to it in a timely manner. Since then the film has been released on Tubi and I was able to check it out there. I still want to thank Dutch for thinking about Horror Society when the film was released!
**Spoiler Alert** The film is a mockumentary following the disappearance of a young woman who was living in a trailer out in the Nevada desert. There was several murders around the time she went missing but the police and investigators were unable to find any leads besides a bag that was suspected to be hers with a recording inside that gives a small glimpse into the horrors of the Nevada desert. **Spoiler Alert**
Director Dutch Marich has done something very few people have been able to do and that’s get met to actually enjoy a found footage horror flick. I’ve seen and reviewed dozens, if not hundreds, by this point and I can count on one hand how many I’ve actually liked. Two of which would be his films. Found footage is one of the dullest sub-genres in horror but these two films have really pulled me in. Minerva doesn’t really answer the questions from the first film but paints an even bigger picture that I’m sure will come to full circle in a future sequel not yet announced.
The acting in this one is like most mockumentaries where we follow the cast as they engage in faux interviews. It’s awkward and one of the many reasons I often find mockumentaries and certain found footage films to be unwatchable. As awkward as this is I didn’t mind it. Everyone is dedicated to the project and I enjoyed some of the characters. I would have rather watched them act out their scenes aside from the interview style but it fits the film and it works.
The story for this one is a loose follow up to the first film where the main focus is on a missing woman along with a few murders committed in the general area. Not enough evidence is there to link them to the incident from the first film but it is suspected. I liked this approach to a sequel. It builds a much bigger story in scope while establishing a much larger sinister force. While it doesn’t help answer questions from the first film, it still entertains while giving fans a bigger picture to follow.
Finally, it’s not a bloody film. In fact, it relies heavily on story and atmosphere so if you are looking for a gory found footage flick then you will be very disappointed. Overall, Horror in the High Desert: Minerva is a fantastic sequel and one of the few found footage flicks that I would recommend to genre fans. Dutch Marich is a fantastic filmmaker that everyone should look out for. Check this one out.