FWC Pictures unleashed their second movie, The Visitant, a paranormal thriller complete with possessions, magical protections with sold b-movie supernatural themes all from the creative mind of director Jon Binkowski and his co-writer and cohort Stephen DeWoody, which earned and possessed several awards and still no exorcisms bind the movie from taking over more screens in homes around the world. The winning element aside from the cast, comes likely from the tone, which the movie directs itself towards, the mature audience, never going over-the-top, rather keeping it simple, and tidy tale that creates haunting scenes without lurid scenes or lewd commentary.
The story centers primarily around one character Samantha (portrayed extremely wonderfully by Michele Simms, who coincidentally starred in Jon’s first film from FWC, called Scare Zone (2009), in fact many other cast members also starred in that same movie, who’s a struggling actress moonlighting as a sincere and yet phony fortune teller. As one of her customers brings fear and woe to her, Samantha peers too far into a mystical world filled of dangers that she never truly understands, and ignores the warnings of distraught emotions when dealing with spirit world. The audience learns quickly that she still suffers from the loss of her love, Stephen, her home still littered with photographs of him and a few quirky items that grab the viewers’ attention. In addition, Samantha, identifies to an more enduring demographic often lately ignored by the horror genre, noting such classics as The Others (2001) and What Lies Beneath (2000). As the ghostly presence enhances its stay, Maya (Tracy Wiu of Cassadaga (2011)) her best friend, begins to lend her spiritual items, but as she naïve to them, it equals more troubles and pleasures from the haunting element. The movie tears itself with paranormal versus psychological thrilling avenues such as spiritual manifestations and transferences to explore the wanting to connect after death to a love one. However, she believes that it is possible her love is trying to cross over to her, to comfort her once more, but in the end it leads to more chaos, downfalls, and engaging in alarming situations with an exciting conclusion. This independent thriller shadows an incredible amount of entertainment all on a relative small scale.
Jon creates a chilling tale with scares from flickering lights, pounding on the walls, slamming of furniture and doors, with a touch to remanence of Poltergeist (1982), but never goes too far, again realizing the limits of the budget, schedule and that setting the stage brings enough to create the sensations to the viewers. An excellent feature, not really seen since The Entity, the swarming indoor fog, and none of the exaggerated caricatures of the body or visible ghosts, rather leaving that all to hovering light just a tad outside the scope of the lens allow Simms to convey the envy and fear of the it. A straightforward bump in the night, but without of the pitch blackness, rather choosing to keep more light and mislead with that element often associated with holy and innocence than any sinister behaviors.
Now the movie is not without the flaws, the dialogue at few times gets a bit squirrely, and one can tell the shortcomings, the minuscule budget, but you really have to look hard for them, and the average viewer seeks the entertainment than the faults. One must remind the horror fans: this is not horror, definitely fitting the thriller genre, with the lack of blood, the trade off a solid suspenseful entry, worrying less of generating the proper jump scene, just permitting a free flowing story, allowing for a natural creation. All and all, the techniques have a strong visual realm, the painting on this canvas generates a memorable movie for one to enjoy.
A few measures of strategically place elements set the ground work for a truly solid film, and doesn’t fall into the traps of so many others of this nature that plod aimlessly for going for cheap T&A or splatterpunk mindset. Binkowski provides a refreshing paranormal experience, and many others agree with the assessment, as the movie, continues to gain more followers, with 400 reviews on Amazon, availability on Amazon Prime and Hulu, and opening onto the overseas market. Needless to say, for the horror fans, if you are tired of the numerous juvenile jokes, then open the door to this ghostly thriller and invite in The Visitant.