Title: Across the River

Also known as:
Oltre il guado (Original title)

Year: 2013

Genre: Mystery / Horror / Thriller

Language: Italian / Slovenian

Runtime: 90 min

Director: Lorenzo Bianchini

Writer: Lorenzo Bianchini & Michela Bianchini

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2836202/


Plot:
Living in an RV up in the mountains, an ethnologist is going through his daily routine of checking footage off of cameras set up in the woods, reviewing the footage, doing check ups on the animals around. One say he stumbles upon something floating in a river - a white dress. Between this and an injured pig he begins to investigate around the river, and finds a village in ruins. He has to wait out the rain in this village, but the past is catching up with the place.

Our thoughts:
"Across the River" comes from Italy with a bang - not a hard, angry bang but with a creepy one on the wall in the middle of the night when you are alone. The movie looks beyond some of the top titles on Italian horror and works on a much more subtle and primitive level. It's a joy, personally, to see something like this from Italy as I often stumble upon movies that want to walk, talk and look like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, etc. "Across the River" is no such movie - there's no stunt here, it's all just a slow, creepy atmospheric horror movie.

It takes place up in the mountains where an ethnologist is going through footage of the night life in the wilderness, collecting data and performing tests on the wild life. A typical night's footage shows deer eating, pigs walking about, etc. One day the ethnologist finds some strange things and begins to investigate the area. He ends up in an old village, all in ruins, where a past is revealing itself. Slowly it's creeping up on him.

I'd absolutely call "Across the River" a horror movie, though the horror isn't really even there. It has mystery, suspense, supernatural elements and all that but probably relying too much on atmosphere and brief sequences for the general public to call it horror. But I doubt anyone disagrees that the movie has some insanely creepy moments, and what are those if not horror? If you go into this expecting a James Wan ghost movie, then yeah that's not what you're getting, though perhaps they are taking notes from the same sort of movies. The older, really slow and actually scary movies that keep you on your toes - where they knew that less is more. Had I watched this movie growing up, it'd be sending chills up my spine.

The movie does have a few things that work against it. Being so slow, at around 90 minutes long it does get a bit tiring. Even though the atmosphere stays intense, there's a point where you get distracted due to the similar tone through-out. This is one thing that stands out with the movie, but also one that will work against it.

I am really fascinated by the mature take on the genre here though. The filmmakers had the balls to make a ghastly horror movie and not sell out by the end - there's no big demon reveal, no CGI mouths expanding, etc. It has a few sightings, but these are brief and intense. Most of all, I am glad that this Italian horror movie didn't try to act like Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci. I know the country produces horror that isn't like that, but as a reviewer I stumble upon a ton of them. "Across the River" is one of the creepiest Italian horror movies I have seen in years.


Positive things:
- Great atmosphere, from the sound to the cinematography.
- The lead actor is fantastic in his role.
- The locations.
- Brings the scares in small doses.
Negative things:
- Arguably too slow at times - or maybe too long, rather.

Rating:
Gore: 1/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 0/5

We got this movie from:
CollectiveProds.com

It can be bought from:
N/A

Reviewed by:
Ronny




 

Like us on Facebook



"City of Rott: Streets of Rott" Press Release
Best of 2016
Best of 2015
Underrated Horror Movies That Aren't Underrated: A Halloween List
Howling: Halloween 2015
Amityville: Halloween 2015
A Stephen King Halloween for 2015
"Tales of the Dim" Press Release
Best of 2014
Full Moon Favorites
A '90s Halloween
Best of 2013
A Profane Preview
A Netflix Halloween for 2013
"German Angst" on Kickstarter
The Sexploitation/Erotica List
Ronny's Arthouse Films List #2
Best of 2012
Worst of 2012
Halloween list: Mockumentaries

Special Feature Archives



 
 
TOP 10 OF LAST YEAR:
1. Fires on the Plain
2. What We Do in the Shadows
3. We Are Still Here
4. Spring
5. Makeup Room
6. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
7. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
8. Shadow Zombie
9. Honeymoon
10. Nina Forever
Taken from Best of 2015



CURRENT FAVORITE
DISTRIBUTORS:
- Mondo Vision
BFI
- Second Run DVD