I was fortunate enough to obtain the chance to watch this film via a contest which was held over at Day of the Woman. BJ-C ran a contest which was fairly simple: just e-mail her and say you want the DVD. I thought, sure, why not...I never usually win anything anyways (the last thing I ever won was an autographed JASON X script. Yeah, something to totally gloat about, I'm sure.) And low and behold, I wound up being the lucky winner. What I received was a THE COMMUNE DVD, a Peace Sign necklace, as well as a personal note from the director herself, Elisabeth Fies. I thought it was genuinely great to see an Independent Filmmaker going to this length with this film, truly showcasing that their first project is definitely a labor of love.
The simple quick synopsis for the film is as follows: A young virgin finds herself isolated in a remote commune of religious "family" members with a sinister agenda to ensure their supernatural survival. With the horror of entrapment, sacrifice and familial dysfunction as Jenny confronts the evil that is her father and his new family. Now, from what BJ-C had told me about the film, she said I was really in for a treat along the lines of the slow-burn aspect as The Wicker Man and Rosemary's Baby. I loved those two films, so I was really expecting to enjoy this film.
I really, really wanted to like this film. It had it's moments, I'll give it that (the way certain scenes are shot, imagery, etc) but I think the slow-burn aspect of it all...hindered my enjoyment. Yes, I love character development and all that stuff, but when it comes down to building up to something, I expect it to totally blow me away...but sadly I saw the ending coming a mile away, so it didn't really affect me the way I think the filmmaker had intended.
Some of the acting was a little blah for me as well. Granted, yes, the members of the commune were supposed to come off that way, but when it came down to it, I think they were trying a bit too hard to get a "weird factor" out of their characters. When we're first introduced to Jenny, I couldn't stand her. It took me a long time for me to really even care about her, so watching a film in which I really don't care about any of the characters is really hard for me to keep interest in.
Seeing as I foresaw the ending, I honestly don't understand what all of the other reviews are getting at when they say that it's a "Raw, sick, twisted and disturbed" kind of film. I just never got that feeling out the film whatsoever.
I will hand it to Elisabeth Fies though, seeing as this is her first outing as a Filmmaker. She knows how to write Character Development and work with the camera, as well as lighting and things of the sort. You can tell she knows the shots she wants, how she wants them to look, and it overall looks fantastic.
All in all, if you're in the mood for something different, and love supporting independent filmmakers, I say go for it.