RWD, (or rewind if you’re not into video), may be the most minimalist attempt at making a feature film yet. With a cast of two, not two major characters but a total of two characters with no extras, bit parts or off screen voices and shot mostly outdoors or in an abandoned building. And since it’s a found footage film, usually only one of them is on screen at a time. An interesting concept as well as being quite budget friendly but can it hold up at feature length.
The plot is standard for found footage, a pair of ghost hunters scouting locations for their next episode find more than they were bargaining for. In this case it’s a mysterious something in a strange abandoned building. But where things get interesting is after they encounter it the setting reverts to earlier in the film, but with slight differences. And they see themselves, apparently hostile versions of themselves. Can they somehow jump back to the start of the day and escape the loop they seem to be caught in?
RWD might have worked as a half hour short, I say might because the two leads are so obnoxious I was sick of them within about fifteen minutes. I’m not sure if this was intentional or if writers/stars Adam Hartley and Matt Stuertz (Stuertz directed) thought this was genuinely funny. Then again since they play themselves maybe the dialogue was improvised, but whatever the case may be it makes the first half hour especially hard to sit through as almost nothing happens. Not that it gets much better after that, nothing is ever explained which makes it very confusing as well as boring. They go into the woods scouting for locations for a show on the ghost of a carpenter who killed and ate his family but find what looks like an abandoned research facility. But what it is or what was going on there, let alone why it keeps tossing them back in time is never explained. And that’s far from the only lapse of logic, the pair are going ghost hunting but bring a handgun, taser and knife, were they going to stab any evil spirits they found?
I have to give them credit for making a film for next to nothing and not only getting festival play but a VOD release via Osiris Entertainment but I really can’t say much good about it. Director Matt Stuertz has another feature Tonight She Comes due out shortly, hopefully it’ll be an improvement.