Review: “The Barn” by Bonfire Films (kinda biased)

The Barn

So back in September,2011, my wonderful niece Heather Guglielmo (who is an aspiring actress) sent me a link to a Kickstarter project for a movie called “The Barn” that she was going to be in with her Portland, Maine film-making director friend Corey Norman from Bonfire Films.  I had seen a bunch of their previous stuff and I was impressed on how good they were for being self-funded projects, but I was impressed to see they were going the Kickstarter route and taking their productions to a whole new level…  So of course I donated to the cause – Sure, I think they are very talented, but lets face it – if my niece is a part of it, I’m absolutely donating…

As a sign of how good these guys had gotten, they were asking for $500 to cover their basic production costs, and by their Kickstarter end-date of October 2nd, they almost-quadrupled that with $1,975!   Which meant they were going to add some real production value to this movie!   I was excited to see what they’d do with the extra money because they have pulled off some impressive movies with no funding…

So once they got the money they got to work right away – like setting up locations, building props (like coffins), etc.   And Heather would tell me all about the shooting, etc…   Within weeks after they started, they got all their principal photography done, and the film was in the editing room…

A few weeks after that, they are announcing their release date of December 5th, 2011 at the Nickelodeon Cinema in Portland!   I just want to note it was 2 months and 3 days after they officially started!  And as you’ll see later it was a half-hour movie with a lot of actors and special effects…  So they kicked ass in getting it done quickly..

Sadly I couldn’t make the premiere, but I heard that it was SOLD OUT and people were being turned away – which was awesome for the cast and crew.   Now I just had to wait for the DVD to see it.  I got it a few weeks back and watched it within minutes of getting the package in the mail.

And I loved it!   It was even better than the trailer would lead me to believe.   The director Corey Norman did a wonderful job making this movie LOOK like a big-budget movie.   The story was great, effects were awesome, the actors were professional quality, and the cinematography was gorgeous..

There is one thing I REALLY didn’t like about it though…   THERE WASN’T NEARLY ENOUGH HEATHER GUGLIELMO SCENES!!!   (Just remember, I said this was a BIASED review)   It sounds like Heathers been in the main cast of a LOT of previous Bonfire movies, and they didn’t want to overuse her, but as her uncle and godfather, I disagree with that 100%   For future reference, please remember this mantra:  More Heather equals More Better!  

Ok, now that I got that off my chest, now I can get back to being as unbiased as I can be with this review.  Also, I promise I wont give away any spoilers without adequate warning.

Writers Tyler Wood, Christopher Moulton & Rebecca Johnson did a great job of telling the story of how a supernatural force turned a small town in Maine upside down.   Appropriate that this short film  was shot in Maine, as there definitely was some inspiration from Stephen King’s “The TommyKnockers” here.  I never saw the movie version of that, but the feel of this movie is what I imagined when reading the book.   For the record, it seems to be inspired by Stephen King, but The Barn is a fresh original story on its own merit.

The actors were phenomenal – I’ve seen many of these actors in previous Bonfire and other of Heather’s projects, and they always do a great job.  Regular Bonfire actor Daniel Noel as Skip perfected the role of the creepy outsider who you wouldn’t want living near you.  Jack Tracksler was an absolutely perfect small town Preacher Peter Campbell who played Jake has the right feel of a kid from a crappy home life who doesn’t want to, but keeps finding himself in situations that will send him down that path.   Erik Probst who played Bobby was so good at his role of some sort of special needs kid, that I had to ask Heather if he really was  (He’s not as seen in the bonus footage on the DVD).. And of course, best newcomer award at the Oscars should go to Heather Guglielmo for her role here as the unfortunately named teacher called Ms. Blood (supposedly the real name of one of the writer’s teachers)… (You knew I couldn’t leave her out LOL).  The rest of the cast were great too, but I had to limit the praise here or I’d be going 10 pages longer.

As I mentioned before, director Corey Norman is great at directing, but the real reason this film is so awesome is that he has some great people collaborating with him.  Kenn Gonneville is the cinematographer and co-writer Tyler Wood  was the video editor of the Barn.  And no joke, they should win many awards for their skills here.   The whole look of The Barn is gorgeous from the scenery and the camera angles to the final glossy end product.   Just watch the trailer below to see what I mean.

Bottom Line: I loved The Barn (even tho there wasn’t enough Heather scenes) – I told Heather as soon as I saw the trailer that this movie has the potential to take off big time and change the cast & crew’s life.   And After watching the actual movie, I am convinced that it will…   Looking at the KickStarter page’s updates, I saw that it is already getting interest from a few festivals and reviewers.   And all I can say about that is that I’ll be able to say that I was a small part (thanks to Kickstarter) of a movie that launched a bunch of careers…

The Barn Teaser #2 from Bonfire Films on Vimeo.

 

THE BARN INFORMATION

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Barn/114656861969960?sk=wall|

Kickstarter Page http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/942103898/the-barn-bonfire-films

IMDB page:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2131653/

Release
December 5, 2011
Genre
Horror / Ghost Story
Studio
Bonfire Films
About
All towns have their secrets……
Description
Look for more information on this chilling new entry from Bonfire Films, the folks that brought you: Just Dating, Valentine, Affliction, Inn Season and Last Chance to Reason’s “Upload Complete” music video.
Plot Outline
A small town is rocked by a supernatural force that has been claiming lives for the past twenty years. A coming of age story, THE BARN, chronicles a young boy uncovering the shadow cast over the town and its inhabitants as he witnesses unexplainable phenomena.
Awards
Starring
Erik Brobst, Peter Campbell, Daniel Noel, Jack Tracksler, Stuart Townsend, Jenny Anastasoff, Mike Rodway, David Wallace, Heather Guglielmo
Directed By
Corey Norman
Written By
Tyler Wood, Christopher Moulton & Rebecca Johnson
Screenplay By
Tyler Wood & Rebecca Johnson
Produced By
Tyler Wood, Rebecca Johnson & Corey Norman
Website

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