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Lauren Currie Lewis,
The tough, no-nonsense Julian and his more laid-back friend John are a couple of veteran campers who decide to embark on a no-frills expedition into the deep Arizona wilderness. Obnoxious troublemaker and blundering tenderfoot Paul tags along. However, things go horribly awry after John gets seriously wounded and the subsequent pressure causes Julian to degenerate into a ferocious primal state. Written by
Deadfall Trail (2009) came about when Roze and Robert D. Guthrie were unable to find complete funding for another project. Faced with taking a loss or using the money they had managed to find, they tailored a movie to the budget they had available. See more »
Despite the title the characters follow no trails at any time and instead are depicted traveling cross country throughout the film. See more »
Tedius story by profoundly inexperienced filmmakers
It's a shame when people undertake the effort to make a feature film when they simply do not have the requisite tools to even superficially command the craft. The filmmaker(s) should have spent more time doing another short film or two in order to better prepare (or better yet) learn the craft of story design and character development. The movie is reasonably well shot, but this is the extent of what I'm willing to give this movie. Good work by DP.
The movie drags and drags. The characters are not well drawn very little debt. All we get is three guys that go into the forest on a self-imposed mission to test themselves with very little water and a bag of peyote. The reason for this is not very well justified. We're left to assume that it's a contrived "guys" thing not good enough as far as a premise goes. We're not given a whole lot of insight into Julian's character aside from the fact that he's got some sort of unresolved internal issues none of this is well mapped. He and Paul are drawn up as having issues with on another, but again nothing is really fleshed out in any discernible dramatic sense. Their relationship is flat and one-note.
As mentioned earlier, nothing really happens with these guys. The structure is week and no discernible dramatic tension is created that is able to sustain a feature length telling of the story (or lack thereof). The movie simply wallows along as we follow these week characters through the forest.
I really long for the days when people stop pretending to be filmmakers just because they have the financial means to do so. Of course, we can't really define well made movies without having our fair share of bad or mediocre movies like this one. The filmmakers of Deadfall Trail will do well to be honest with themselves and learn to appreciate the art of story craft maybe consult those that do have experience instead of assuming that they already have the tools. Learn how to write stories that resonate with the audience and populate your story with compelling characters that have some emotional debt and complexity and are able to pull the audience along. Reach out for serious notes from experienced story tellers if you need to. And don't fall into the fatal trap of only taking notes that praise or validate you. Learn how to work with honest notes, even if it hurts. From what I understand, the filmmakers are instructors at a two year film program in Scottsdale, Arizona? My hopes are that this does not cloud their ability to take notes from others. It's very easy for people like this to feel like they have all the answers when surrounded by eager students that look up to them.
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