VIFF 2019 | 'Castle In The Ground' Movie Review
When Henry’s mom passes away, Henry has a difficult time coping with it. So he decides to sever his ties from healthy relationships and begin investing interest into harmful ones. These choices lead Henry down a dark path of poor decision making and tragedy.
Castle in the Ground stars Alex Wolff as Henry and Imogen Poots as Ana, who both gave noteworthy performances in Hereditary and The Art of Self-Defense respectively. But the film also features other favorite films of mine: Tom Cullen from Weekend with a minor role as a friend of Ana’s, and of course Neve Campbell from the Scream franchise playing Henry’s mom. It’s an ensemble I highly respect, even if their opportunities to shine aren’t as prominent as I’d prefer.
As the events of Castle in the Ground unfold, audiences are tasked with judging whether Henry is incapable of recognizing bad situations or just unwilling to. Either way, the world he hurls himself into eventually imposes the consequences of naivety. Especially when it comes to Ana, who is cunning and manipulates him in an ask-and-she-shall-receive relationship.
The film is conscious about taking it’s time with every interaction. It lingers on scenes and conversation and never hurries moments, which might make the pacing more methodical than some viewers have patience for.
The final moments of Castle in the Ground concludes the story in a satisfying, yet disheartening way, leaving audiences to ponder the same conflicts Henry grapples with throughout the film.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 1 | Story and Message - 2 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 1 | Reviewer's Preference - 1 | What does this mean?