Out today on DVD from Candy Factory Films are two contenders for your Halloween watch list (that is if you have any room left after the gems of 32 Days of Halloween). Both films focus on young women haunted with questions surrounding the unnatural death of a parent and the dark places they go (literally and figuratively) as the mystery envelops them.
The Midnight Swim is a POV/documentary style chiller which follows the story of three girls whose mother previously disappeared into Spirit Lake (a body of water of immense and indeterminate depth). In the classic tradition of people in a horror films making less-than-wise choices, they decide the only logical thing to do is go into the lake themselves to try to find out what happened to her.
Sarah Adina Smith wrote and made her directorial debut with this film (she has since worked as a director on the 2016 films Holidays and Buster’s Mal Heart). It debuted in 2014 at Canada’s Fantasia Film Festival and had a limited release in the US in 2015, winning awards at multiple film festivals from 2014-2016 (including AFI Fest and the Nashville, Denver International, Starz Denver, and Sun Valley festivals.
The movie is available to rent for $3.99 (or buy for $6.99) on Amazon Video or to purchase on DVD for $13.99.
In Girl in Woods, Grace and Jim’s romantic getaway into the Smoky Mountains is cut short when Jim suddenly dies in an accident (not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer), leaving Grace to battle her ever-present childhood demons (and whatever is lurking behind the trees) on her own. If you’re a fan of horror films featuring dreams within dreams, lots of blood, maniacal laughter, and people creepily saying “Momma” and “Daddy”, this may be right up your alley.
The film was written and directed by Jeremy Benson (Live Animals, Shutter, The Smallest Oceans) and had a limited theater release back in June. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can watch it for free; if you’re not, you can rent it for $3.99 or purchase for $6.99 on both Amazon Video and iTunes. If you’ve decided you want a hard copy you can snag the DVD on Amazon for $13.99.
Neither title has any bonus features (on any of the release platforms listed above), but if you’ve already watched the traditional Halloween perennials and want to branch out into something else, they might be worth a watch for the adventurous.