A young park ranger comes across a potential crime scene deep in the woods. Alone, she must wait until help arrives. But as darkness falls over the state park, she must fight her own minds tricks as reality becomes skewed. Written and directed by Roxanne Benjamin, Body at Brighton Rock is a great psychological thriller that reminds us what our real enemy is.
Wendy (Karina Fontes) is a fairly inexperienced park ranger working for Brighton Rock National Park. She decides to prove herself in the eyes of her colleagues, by taking on the task of placing informative posters around the dense woods. She wanders around, snapping photos of the gorgeous scenery, and enjoying the hike – unknowingly getting lost along the way. As her phone battery dies, she discovers the body of a man nearby. It’s not clear whether it was an accident or someone’s doing, as there are no real indicators as to what happened.
She radios in, but with no map or cellphone, she can’t exactly tell them where she is. She is instructed to stay put, guard the body, and help will find her in the morning. As the night sets in, Wendy begins to hear things and becomes paranoid. She can’t help but shake the feeling someone is in the woods. Could it be the possible murderer, or is Wendy simply beginning to lose her sanity? She will have to face each and every horror, no matter if it’s real or imaginary.
I really enjoyed the psychological take this film has. Wendy is experiencing some people’s worse nightmare – being lost, alone, in an unknown place. There’s this added stressor of having this creepy dead body near her, with no understanding of what happened. And it’s our minds that can be most dangerous. You believe the film to take a few different turns along the way, but you’re left just as dazed as Wendy – which is great!
There were points that bugged me a little throughout, where I felt that tone wasn’t being upheld. During the beginning, a lighter tone is established by way of introducing our aloof protagonist. Which I felt was a perfect way to. Though, that same lightness would pop up again and again in various scenes, by use of sound effects and music. Sort of those comical zoom-in’s that I found to be a bit hokey. It just didn’t make sense with the serious shift the film takes after Wendy discovers the body.
Overall, I enjoyed the move. It is a bit of a slow-burner, reminding me a little of Willow Creek. Though I didn’t quite like that film, I felt this movie gave you just enough to keep you engaged. And the third act vastly improves in pace as Wendy’s paranoia sets in and tension really builds in the dark. It reminds me of how as a child, I would struggle to fall asleep because I thought I saw something. Let’s be honest, I do that sometimes as an adult too, but it’s that sort of minds-own-trickery that really holds the terror of this film.
Body at Brighton Rock is now In Theaters and On Demand.