Eddie Lengyel is the mastermind behind The Curse of Lilith Ratchet, which was one of my favorite indie horror films from the last half a decade. Can his latest project, The Sluagh Awakens, capture the same lightning in a bottle pizazz? Brought to life by Lengyel’s Fright Tek Pictures and Element 79 Studios, this flick blends several genres to paint a picture of small-town madness – horror, scifi, action, drama and true folklore. As far as I’m aware, The Sluagh Awakens is one of the only films to depict the infamous sluagh from Irish mythology. ITN Distribution is bringing this item to DVD shelves and streaming services, so hopefully it’s out by March so you can enjoy it this Saint Patrick’s Day!
Something lurks in the forest… Following a tragic onslaught that rips a married couple apart, an evil force slowly spreads and holds an entire forest town in its bloody clutches. Only a group of young adults, random survivors and those who previously experienced the terror are left to fight back against something unholy. Revenge or just fight/flight response… Pick your reason to fight back against, well, dastardly looking zombie gnome monsters? The Sluagh Awakens is written, directed and produced by Eddie Lengyel. It was also produced by Don Kilrain, features cinematography by Mick Kunz and editing by Kunz and Brandon Jester. It stars Roger Conners Don Kilrain, Morgan Paige, Quinn L’Esperance, Chris Hahn, Morgan Ziva, Tim Hale and Robbie Barnes.
So, listen, I’m not here to bust anyone’s balls. If I’m watching an indie horror flick, then it means I enjoy them and I don’t watch them to try and tear apart the cast and crew. This movie certainly won’t be for everyone, but I enjoyed my viewing. Year by year, Eddie Lengyel has stepped up his game and proven there’s a big difference between low budget and independent. Just because you’re an independent film doesn’t mean you have to look cheap. The Sluagh Awakens has suspense, perfect audio, exquisite lighting at night, impressive locations and capable timing. Across the board, the acting ranges from average to above average and sometimes I sense real on-screen chemistry. It’s biggest takeaway, though, is the special effects department. They had their work cut out for them! I believe that the special effects department is the sole reason why this film succussed the way it does.
However, it’s far from perfect. Although I enjoyed the acting for the most part, there were some wooden moments that needed a retake. I feel that scenes bounce between overall quality and sometimes lack the essence of cohesiveness. And, more than anything, the gunshots need a lot of work. The cheesiness of it diminishes the lack of severity in certain scenes. Also, some scenes had this quietness to them that I didn’t quite understand. But again, the special effects and build up to climax more than make up for these small design flaws… as does the nudity, body count and studdly performance by Roger Conners.
One word I’d use to describe The Sluagh Awakens is ambitious. And that’s a good thing! Fright Tek Pictures attempted to step up their game. While I didn’t appreciate this entire effort as much as I did The Curse of Lilith Ratchet, this film delivers on several key points and kept me entertained throughout most of my viewing. The Sluagh Awakens is a one-of-a-kind slaughter, crawling with ghouls and guts, and an original nightmare that may brighten your horizons of horror. Well done.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.