Director: Gus Holwerda
Starring: Jason Spisak, Leeann Dearing, Abe Ruthless, Richard Dawkins
Review Author: Tony
Finding myself increasingly scouring the r/horror subreddit for trailers and upcoming films, the teaser for an indie horror, Intersect, caught my eye. Described as a Lovecratian film with a puzzle like narrative, it was definitely on my radar. You can imagine my delight when a week later the director, Gus Holwerda, reached out with the opportunity to review. Based on the fact that the trailer made such an initial impact, it surprised me at how much it sold the story short. Intersect can be summarized in brief as a science fiction thriller with a cosmic horror aesthetic.
Beginning at the end, Ryan rushes to his lab after reports of a madman there strapped with a bomb and holding hostages. The lab contains Ryan’s life work, a time machine invented with his closest friends. This traumatic event triggers a series of flashbacks to pivotal moments in Ryan’s life such as his relationships, mentors, and increasingly traumatic events which begin to reveal Ryan has locked away many secrets from himself. As these separate moments in time become more bizarre with many unexplained events, the time machine appears less a sum of hard work and dedication but rather a manipulation by something beyond the reaches of our imagination.
Structurally the narrative plays in reverse chronological order, similar to Christopher Nolan’s Momento. It’s an interesting approach to the story as it allows a puzzle type plotline which keeps an air of mystery and builds an unnerving aesthetic as bizarre events occur with little reaction from characters. The lead character, Ryan Winrich, is forced to search his memories for clues to how a certain cataclysmic event is about to occur, taking him as far back as his childhood. Intersect may rely on heavy exposition dialogue to fill in the gaps compared to Momento’s visual cues, but the cosmic scope and time travel aspects are far broader in scope in terms of storytelling, so a little leeway is allowed.
Featuring a solid cast, director Holwerda understands the importance of chemistry in order to sell this friendship that has spanned over a decade amongst the cast. Jason Spisak is an incredibly accomplished voice actor with a massive body of work, he also makes for a great leading man and live action actor. Leean Dearing and Abe Ruthless bounce seamlessly off each other as well as Spisak, creating a believable camaraderie amongst the trio. Scientist, Richard Dawkins makes a surprise cameo as the automated voice behind the time machine.
Intersect is not without its issues as it comes in a little long in the tooth at 1 hour 55 minutes; A runtime that could probably shave off around 20 minutes for more impact in its story. Much of the film focuses on the relationships between the characters, which I’ve noted is important but at times drags out when the story could have bulked up its cosmic elements and sense of impeding doom.
It’s rare to see an indie science-fiction/horror aim for such an expansive story with such confidence, especially shot in a non-linear fashion. There are strong themes throughout and a wonderful third act that connects the pieces satisfactorily; but also screams, gotcha. Rarely predictable and relying on atmosphere and mystery for its horror elements rather than shock value or scares makes Intersect a worthy cosmic horror and entry into the increasingly expanding list of solid Lovecratian films.
Intersect is available from 15th September on iTunes/Amazon/Google Play ect. There is also a blu-ray (region free) available via the movie website–www.intersectthemovie.com. Packed with bonus features, commentaries, behind-the-scenes, etc.