Be Careful What You Believe In...
The horror genre is always changing and has seen multiple different eras. The 60s saw the more psychological kind reign supreme. It was a breath of fresh air coming out of the 50s, which were dominated by creature/monster films. Directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma would cement their names with the awe-inspiring movies they produced, paving the way for other legendary names that would mold what we would know horror to be for decades to come.
One such name was John Carpenter, whose hit film Halloween still inspires directors today. His movie would also inspire a new wave of horror where masked killers stalked unsuspecting victims in the dead of night across the 80s. As famous and infamous as these films would become, the landscape would change to one that has both helped and hurt the genre.
As time went on, horror became more about racking up huge body counts through bloody violence. Films lost the power of subconscious terror in exchange for something more graphic and less thought-provoking. From the 80s would come three decades of recycled trends. Although iconic films like Paranormal Activity and Sinister would still seep through the cracks, the psychological flavor would largely be buried under waves of movies trying to copy what was popular at the time.
The film Hoodman hoped to change that. Hoodman is a film that isn’t afraid to take audiences on a ride with a slow build. Director and screenwriter Mark W. Curran has crafted a film that calls back to the great Hitchcock films from the 60s. With this thriller, he aimed to showcase an expert blending of crime drama and psychological horror that unfolded at a steady pace, giving viewers a rising sense of dread that ends in a payoff that will both shock and awe.
Hoodman revolves around Ariana Chandler, a woman in her mid-twenties who comes from a difficult past and will stop at nothing to find her missing child. Also on the hunt is detective Lenny Briggs. He’s relentless but not exactly on Ariana’s side. He feels that she’s hiding something from him. But like her, he won’t let anything get in the way of his search, not even her. It won’t be easy, as they are unsure if they are searching for a man or a ghost.
Frank Hackman, who is also missing a child, claims his daughter was stolen by the Hoodman, an urban legend. As they get closer to the truth, Briggs and Chandler will have to question everything they know as the line between make believe and reality become blurred, and the stakes rise even higher.
Ariana Chandler is played by Madison Spear while Detective Lenny Briggs is played by Brock Morse. Skye Roberts plays Ariana’s daughter Missy, and Jack James plays Frack Hackman. Other cast members include Zachary Rist, Elle Taylor, Matt Quinn, Claire Montgomery, and Joe Finera.
While Hoodman may have been produced on a low budget, the filmmakers have been able to do a lot with their limited resources, using as few locations as possible and forgoing special effects to make a film of good quality. It is a film that relies on suspense and dread as opposed to gratuitous blood and violence to create scares. If you don’t like slow-burn movies then this feature may not be for you. Otherwise, it may just be a welcome change from the more visceral horror that many may be used to.
You can find Hoodman on Amazon Prime Video and for free on Tubi TV.
Hoodman (2021) Official Nightwatcher Films Trailer