‘The Unkindness of Ravens’

Posted on December 7, 2015 by

The Unkindness of Ravens

It’s rare when you see a trailer so compelling that the imagery lingers in your head for days. I watched the trailer for The Unkindness of Ravens and was completely taken in. For those of you who know soldiers that suffer from PTSD, this one is going to hit home. Check out the extreme version of the trailer below.

Below is the press release from screenwriter Sarah Daly.

Indie Horror The Unkindness of Ravens Gets Chilling New Trailer

The Unkindness of Ravens is the second feature from Scottish director Lawrie Brewster and Irish screenwriter Sarah Daly. An intense and ambitious indie horror, the film tells the story of Andrew, a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD. Haunted by flashbacks of a traumatic event he witnessed while serving in the armed forces, Andrew travels to a retreat in the remote Scottish Highlands. There, he hopes to overcome his fear of ravens, the dark creatures that trigger his visions, but, in the bleak wilderness, his nightmares take a form more terrifying than he could have ever imagined. He must battle these monsters as well as his own inner demons in order to keep his life, and reclaim his sanity. Brewster’s first film Lord of Tears, a slow-burn Gothic chiller also penned by writer Sarah Daly, received critical acclaim and earned the duo an avid fan base. With this, their second feature, they want to push the boundaries of the genre further. Although The Unkindness of Ravens is certainly bloody, it’s no mindless slasher, aspiring instead to the ranks of intelligent horrors like The Babadook, Kill List and The Witch.

According to Brewster, the film ‘is an unsettling, visceral commentary on the mental turmoil that war leaves in its wake.’

Veteran’s issues are central to the film, and up-and-coming Scottish actor Jamie Scott Gordon who plays Andrew, took the matter very seriously, meeting with veterans suffering from PTSD in preparation for the role. ‘I felt I had to do all I could to understand what they were going through, and the complexities of the condition. It was an honour be able to bring some awareness to an often over-looked issue.’

Brewster felt that the horror genre was a perfect fit to express the real life horrors suffered by such men and women both during, and after the conflict. ‘You can’t hold back on the brutality or the trauma of such a heavy issue – to sanitise their story would be to do a disservice to it. So, we’ve not pulled any punches with the film.’

The film’s trailer backs up Brewster’s claim, with echoes of Apocalypse Now and Jacob’s Ladder in its powerful visuals and intense psychological drama. The film also has a strong folk-horror vibe, with the action taking place in the bleak Scottish Highlands and occult imagery featuring prominently in the trailer. Brewster would love to see a resurgence in the folk-horror sub-genre in his native Scotland, and hopes to lead the revival with The Unkindness of Ravens. ‘The rich mythology and stunning landscapes of Scotland are a perfect fit for the folk-horror genre. For artists like myself and writer Sarah Daly, it’s the perfect backdrop for the dark and unnerving stories we’re most passionate about, rich with mythos and lore and a sense of the ancient mixed in with the modern.’

Brewster is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to secure finishing and marketing funds for the film. With six days to go, he’s reached 90% of his £40,000 goal, already the most-funded UK horror film ever on Kickstarter. He claims that crowdfunding is a great way for films outside the Hollywood studio system to get the funding they need. With big budget reboots the order of the day in cinemas, he says it’s more difficult than ever to secure funding for films with new, edgy stories. ‘Connecting with the audience directly allows us to make the kind of independent films we want to make, and tell the strange and original stories that audiences are missing.’

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