Road Rash Reviews

Lovely, Dark and Deep Digital Review****-

Cert 15 | 87 mins

4 star compelling and chilling psychological horror.

Lovely, Dark and Deep is a 2024 American horror film, written and directed by Teresa Sutherland in her impressive feature directorial debut.

It is available to stream on UK Digital Platforms from 25th March 2024, courtesy of Blue Finch Film Releasing.

“And into the forest I go. To lose my mind and find my soul.”

– John Muir

Many people go missing in US National Parks every year and the park with the most unexplained disappearances is Avores National Park. As the film opens, we see Park Ranger 109, Varney (Soren Hellerup – Kalak, Memory House), failing to respond to the daily round up call. He leaves an ominous note on his Ranger Station “I owe this land a body” and off he goes to join them.

It’s a new season and we meet Lennon (Georgina Campbell – Barbarian, Bird Box: Barcelona), new recruit to the Avores National Park Rangers and Varney’s replacement. This is a placement she has been trying to get for years, due to a personal matter.

After a welcome from fellow ranger and neighbour Jackson (Nick Blood – The Offering, Body of Water), she heads off to the very basic camp she will be calling home for the rest of the summer. Right from the start it seems that something strange is going on, as she ranges out on her personal mission she hears strange noises and her radio seems to function without batteries.

When reports come in of a missing young woman, Sara (Maria de Sá – The Infernal Machine) and she finds her confused in the woods, she begins to suspect something much more sinister is at play. Can she find out what is going on and set her own demons to rest?

“Congrats on the dream job. Been after this for years ain’tcha?”

Lovely, Dark and Deep is an excellent watch, visually stunning as well as being a compelling story. Although based on the National Park Service of America, it is actually filmed in Portugal, but the beautiful scenery and sweeping vistas fit the bill very well and the high production values shine through.

There’s a real feeling of isolation and tension, and a strong sense of a supernatural otherworldliness which carries you through the film on a wave of uncertainty. My only real complaint is that the story is slightly too ambiguous and offers no real answers as to the nature of the threat, this is left to your imagination, although there are plenty of gruesome moments too.

Georgina Campbell plays an excellent protagonist, likeable and relatable and draws you in with a masterful performance. With the title taken from the Robert Browning poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Teresa Edwards has captured the spirit well. A great debut and I look forward to seeing what else she has in store for us.

“She was right there. And then she wasn’t.”

Blue Finch Film Releasing presents Lovely, Dark and Deep on Digital Platforms on 25th March 2024.

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DirectorTeresa Sutherland
StarringGeorgina Campbell, Nick Blood, Wai Ching-Ho, Soren Hellerup
Category: Digital, film, Review