After being left a home by her recently deceased grandma, Danielle finds herself living amongst some old ghosts of previous occupants in the film The October Flowers.
Having previously watched and reviewed the thriller Silver Woods (review here), we were looking forward to the next effort from up-and-coming film director Clay Moffatt, so it was a pleasant surprise when his latest film The October Flowers turned up at the Screen Critix multiplex. Much like the aforementioned Silver Woods, Moffatt wisely sticks to the thriller genre with add twists and a side order of turns.
Danielle’s grandmother has died and left her home to her in her will. Along with her partner Ben (Frank Prell), Danielle (Aiyana Irwin) decides to live in the home for a little while before she makes a decision to move in permanently or to sell-up and run with the cash. As soon as they sit down in the home for the first time, they meet Tucker who is nonchalantly walking around the house as if its normal. He is the gardener who has apparently been paid by Danielle’s grandmother to tend to the garden until the end of time (or his life).
Tucker isn’t the only strange character Danielle gets to meet in her new home; there are a plethora of spirits of deceased former occupants of the house – holed up with nowhere to go. Some are good and some are bad and some just want to bash Danielle and Ben’s heads in with a baseball bat. At first, it is only Danielle who can see and communicate with the ghosts, with Ben not really believing in his girlfriend’s stories, but they later reveal themselves to him as well as the story veers towards its twisty finale.
Based on a screenplay by Moffatt, The October Flowers has some decent dialogue which is performed by some very capable actors such as Jessica Y. Martin, Greg Lutz, Sean Dillingham and Adam Berardi to name but a few. The film was obviously shot on a minimal budget, and while money can equal better production value, it isn’t the be-all-to-end-all when it comes to making excellent films. Whilst The October Flowers is a good little independent picture, it just slightly comes up short from making it truly cinematic. I felt the shots could have been framed better, with greater use of lighting and, with what the plot is about, I can only imagine how great the film would have looked if the house Danielle had been left was a gothic-style mansion and not a smaller home with bland coloured walls. Of course, Moffatt and his crew may not have had access to such a location, and this could be wishful thinking, but should they have found one, the film would have immediately looked richer in style to match its substance.
Still, with a runtime of just over seventy minutes, I once again enjoyed Clay Moffatt’s new film. It had some good suspense to it and he is proving himself to be an ever-improving writer/director.