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Grab your passports. It's time to head up north to visit our bilingual, Ikea founding friends of Sweden, with the film Sargad.

Sargad, or Wounded in English, is a film seemingly inspired by the likes of I Spit On Your Grave and perhaps even Psycho in some respects. It's about Elina, a young woman who is traveling with her mother and sister to their family's rural cottage.

Once there, they spend some time bonding. Remembering the life of their beloved father and husband who recently passed away, before scattering his remains at a place he loved.

Soon their lives will be impacted once more by the recently deceased, but through a cruel revelation and brutal attack carried out by a group of local brothers, in an act they feel is retribution.

Elina, is wounded and left for dead, but when she comes to, she stitches herself up and sets her sights on saving her mother and sister.

The film is of the micro budget variety, but it manages to accomplish quite a bit with very little. I mentioned before that the film seems inspired by others like I Spit on Your Grave. It doesn't achieve the same grittiness of the rape and revenge classic, but it is a film that isn't afraid to show it's teeth.

What could have become a lack luster indie slasher, ends up being a pretty well written and well acted story of revenge and survival. While the story starts off in a familiar place, it quickly becomes rich as each of the major players develop with their own motivation, slowly revealing what lurks beneath the surface.

I've seen more “no budget” indie flicks than I'd care to admit, and with all those hours spent learning what NOT to do in regards to filmmaking, I can tell that writer Sarah Giercksky and director Andres R. Ramos have also learned those same lessons as fans of horror and film in general. Together they managed to avoid the common pit-falls of DYI filmmaking. Their characters have purpose. The story has depth. The cinematography adds atmosphere. The editing doesn't wast any time on trivial things.

My only real complaint, which happens to be a big one, is that this horror movie isn't terribly scary. In a few key scenes, either the camera work, the directing or the editing step on what should have made for really suspenseful scene. If things were a little tighter in these areas, the suspense would have been present and strengthened an already pretty strong film.

I'm excited to see what comes next from Sarah Giercksky and Andres R. Ramos in the future. As for Giercksky, she has also written and starred in Rotten Love – a short film of the same year - and is the co-host of Bitches of Horror.

Sargad is currently touring the festival circuit, and is being made available to the film's Kickstarter contributes, but you can expect to hear more about it soon. Check it out when you get a chance!


★ ★ ★