dir. Josh Stifter
Making a film takes a colossal amount of effort, hueing together the creative and financial being a Herculean task. So when the work is a micro-budget indie that sticks the landing and proves to be genuinely enticing it should be celebrated all the more. This is why Josh Stifter’s cracking sophomore effort Greywood’s Plot is such a joy to watch, exhibiting a cinematic voice that highlights why the genre festival circuit is such an important platform for smaller films.
Following on from 2018’s The Good Exorcist, Stifter’s latest (which he directs, produces, co-writes, edits, provides the visual effects for and stars in) chronicles a pair of friends (Stifter and Keith Radichel) as they set off into the woods to uncover the truth about a mysterious video which purports to show a monster. What starts as a fairly predictable affair (which Stifter seems aware of and allows to bleed into early interaction) becomes something all together different in the second half, with committed turns from Daniel Degnan and Radichel helping sell a narrative that shifts genres and requires a leap of faith from the audience.
There’s a sinister, uneasy quality to Greywood’s Plot even at its most relaxed, enhanced by the atmospheric black-and-white lensing and bluesy soundtrack. The audience may expect proceedings to go south – and they do – but where the narrative leads is unpredictable. Even with the rough edges and budgetary limitations, Stifter’s work here is exciting, challenging and may well strike uncomfortable chords, with the final images destined to haunt viewers for a long time after.