October 5, 2015 Windsor Drive (Movie Review)
Talented young Producer, Director, Photographer and activist, Natalie Bible (Developing Her 2010, Bump 2015), directs her first feature film with the release of Horror film Windsor Drive. Bible aims to make a difference through all forms of her art, and it shows through the film. Released theatrically August 28th in the United States, Windsor Drive was written by T.R. Gough (Necessary Measures 2012-2013), also as their first feature film. There is no denying that Bible and Gough make a formidable team.
The events of Windsor Drive takes place in modern times, with filming taking place around Los Angeles, California. Reminiscent of the work of David Lynch of Twin Peaks series and Mulholland Drive (2001), Windsor Drive focuses on the main character of the story, River Miller (Tommy O’Reilly: The Client List 2010, Necessary Measures 2012). River is an actor looking for his big break, and at the beginning of the film, he is in a happy relationship with the beautiful Jordana (Jillian Murray: Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero 2014, Murder in the First 2015). Jordana makes River promise he will never leave her.
At some point, River and Jordana are separated, though it is not clear at the beginning why. In pursuit of furthering his acting career, River decides to move to Hollywood, with the hope of obtaining a part in the “Windsor Drive” film. The film seems to have a dark past, and River will do what it takes to make it. This includes breaking up with his current girlfriend Brooke (Samaire Armstrong: The Mentalist 2011-2012, Resurrection 2014-2015). Needless to say, Brooke is not pleased and does not make the move easy.
Nonetheless, River heads to Hollywood and rents a room off the strange and unusual couple: Ivy (Anna Biani: Freaky Deaky 2012, Wicked Games 2015) and Wulfric (Kyan DuBois: William Froste 2015). River grows closer to Ivy each day as they practice his lines, which draws the concern and ire of Wulfric. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that River’s memory of his past is distorted, and those that touch his life are almost guaranteed to be drawn into River’s dark world. River is a tortured man who seems to be attracted to women who not only complicate his life, but threaten to unravel his tightly wound existence. Scene by scene the events escalate, revealing the twisted truth behind River’s life, and Jordana’s disappearance. How will Ivy and Wulfric fit into River’s world? What is it about “Windsor Drive” that controls and compels River’s every thought and emotion?
The events in Windsor Drive do not take place in sequential order, and much of the film is spent going backwards and forwards through River’s fractured reality. This can be disconcerting to some viewers who like their stories and endings to be clear, concise, and tied up in a neat little bow. The film is not unlike surreal psychological neo-noir films such as Vanilla Sky (2001), The Machinist (2005), and Memento (2000), delving deep within a troubled mind. Windsor Drive has style and substance, though it is a thinking viewers film. The cinematography by Carl Bartels (Wicked Attraction 2013, Classic Alice 2015) maintains a frantic pace throughout the film, and provides a surreal environment to tell River’s story.
The musical score by Karsten Shreve (William Froste 2015) complements the gritty tone of the film. The special effects are more implied rather than viewed directly, which adds to the surreal feel. Windsor Drive is well-acted, with the small cast successfully carrying the script. There are instances where the characters appear to overreact or act unrealistically in response to particular situations, though it does blend with the rest of the plot. There is certainly an underlaying theme of the inner demons that drive us to do the things we do, which are often hidden deep under a perfect face. Ugliness does not equal evil, often it is the opposite.
Bible has a bright future ahead of her, and is certainly one to keep an eye out for. Windsor Drive is a movie that likely requires viewing more than once to fully understand the subtle hints and nuances throughout the story. A must watch for all fans of intellectual Horrors and Thrillers. CrypticRock gives Windsor Drive 4 out of 5 stars.