Eternal Return

It’s an eternal return when two joggers keep coming back to the same spot on a scenic woodsy trail by a lake.

Brightwood has a few things to admire while also delivering a few things that suggest things are amiss

There was a movie from Ireland titled In Fear not too many years back where the whole movie is a couple in a car driving endlessly on a spooky country road yet always ending up at the same starting point. Brightwood is that film but on foot.

Brightwood is the ultimate two-fer. Dana Berger and Max Woertendyke are the only actors. At first there’s some banter that suggests they are engaged but having a falling out.

Brightwood is a film that you admire more for what it attempts to pull off than what it ends up being. Dana and Max are up to the challenges the film from debut writer/director Dane Elcar dictates. The repetition of the plot eventually works against the flow of the film.

The two exercise buffs keep ending up at a sign that warns “No Swimming.” At the same time a mysterious hooded figure appears and disappears seemingly around each bend of the trail.
Technically Elcar makes things like continuity work wonders especially in scenes where Dana and Max view their doppelgangers from near and afar. A couple of scenes of gore are well played.

It’s just that it’s hard to keep interest in the meandering story when the payoff to the overall enigma offers metaphor rather than a convincing conclusion.

Brightwood premieres via VOD and physical media on Tuesday, August 22. 

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