Blood in the Snow Review: ‘Flee the Light’ is a well-intentioned but underbaked indie folk horror

When you think of folk horror, your mind goes to certain places: witchcraft, nature, dark spirits. Flee The Light delves into these areas with enthusiasm and a minimal budget.

Following sisters Andra (Annie Tuma) and Delfi (Ariana Marquis), the film attempts to dive into hared trauma and the bonds of sisterhood and succeeds in most respects. The sisters are close and supportive at all times. Some shared history has impacted them both: Andra enrolling in university to study psychology, and Delfi plagued with exhaustion and visions of both a woman wreathed in light and another at the centre of a ritual.

Through the film’s first half, the sisters attempt to get to the bottom of these visions, consulting doctors and mediums alike, but it’s not until nearly the halfway point of the story that we learn what is going on. To its credit, there’s a great twist here that turns a lot of what you might be expecting from a story like this on its head. But, on the other, there are some pretty serious budgetary limitations and issues with the performances.

To be clear, while at times uneven, both Tuma and Marquis are adequate to the task, but many of the supporting performances let them down. Canadian musician Jane Siberry is likely the worst offender for this simply by virtue of having the most screen time and being the most pivotal supporting character, but even in scenes where she is entirely wordless, she is unconvincing. Still, while Flee The Light is far from perfect, there’s a lot to admire in it, not the least of which is its scrappy spirit and some interesting takes on folk-horror tropes.

Flee The Light is playing as part of the Blood in the Snow Film Festival.

2021 Blood in the Snow

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