By ABBIE BERNSTEIN / Editor
Published: February 11, 2022 / 6:55 PM
Stars: Booboo Stewart, Scarlett Sperduto, Bryson Jonsteele, Grant Morningstar, Devin Keaton, Nils Allen Stewart
Writers: Robert Rippberger and Spencer Moleda
Director: Robert Ripberger
Distributer: 828 Media Capital/VMI Liberation
Release date: February 11, 2022
THOSE WHO WALK AWAY is based, loosely, on the Ursula K. LeGuin story, “Those Who Stray From Omelas”. On their first date, Avery (Scarlett Sperduto) tells Max (Booboo Stewart) that she’s doing a college thesis on the job.
Many who have read “Those Who Walk Away From Omelas” find it unforgettable. Avery’s brief summary of the piece is accurate as far as it goes. The peace and prosperity of an idyllic (fictional) town is somehow maintained by the imprisonment and torture of a single child. Those who can’t bear to take advantage of this walk leave.
Avery considers staying and leaving to be equal, as neither action helps the child. Max draws a different message from it, but perhaps not the one that comes to the viewer’s mind.
Max and Avery met online, but this is their first meeting in the real world. They are both charmingly awkward with each other, and both are nursing family trauma. As they talk and drink together, they seem to bond. In other circumstances, it could turn into a low-budget romantic comedy.
But since their initial plans to attend a movie fell through (someone called a bomb threat at the theater and he was evacuated), Avery offers Max a tour of a house ostensibly haunted by a ghost known as Rotcreep’s name.
At this point, Max had what a reasonable person might consider red flags. Again, the screenplay by director Robert Rippberger and Spencer Moleda makes it clear that between Max’s guilt and shyness, he’s so distracted by his own thoughts that he’s not necessarily able to see the situation. in general.
Both Rotcreep’s appearance and his domain are suitably gruesome, as is the story that accompanies them. Sonia Foltarz’s production design mixes eerie grunge and a sickening ’50s aesthetic to strong effect, and Amir Arzanian’s opening credits are striking.
Stewart is very good as Max, who just wants someone he can be himself with, and Sperduto has authenticity as the troubled Avery.
THOSE WHO WALK AWAY works best as a haunted house movie. The filmmakers struggle with their other ambitions. To suggest that Max is hallucinating is just baffling, because what is happening is clearly supernatural. Similarly, the mythology surrounding Rotcreep seems contradictory (we see characters surviving things we were told should have killed them).
Also, while we can see the attempt to establish a connection, the situation in THOSE WHO WALK AWAY does not serve as a metaphor for “Omelas”. The analogy doesn’t work on several levels, although discussing them would reveal too much about the film’s plot. (Then again, the way “Omelas” is alluded to in the film is going to give some viewers clues as to what’s going on well in advance.)
For those who love horror with rot, mold and disturbing underpinnings, THOSE WHO WALK AWAY generously provides. Those looking for horror that also has a solid build and something powerful to say will be less satisfied.
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Source of the article: Duty X
Item: Movie review: THOSE WHO WALK AWAY