Indie Horror Movie Review: INSPIRATION (2016)

“When a young author moves to an isolated town to return to her horror roots, bad things begin to happen.  An accident leaves her questioning her grip on reality, but perhaps something more sinister is at work?”

I would like to open this up by saying INSPIRATION took a turn that I totally did not expect. The storyline rolled through rather smoothly, aside from a few areas that left me confused but I feel that was the writers intention.

The film opens up with our main character at a book signing for her latest ‘horror’ novel when she comes across a very upset person that leaves her incredibly surprised.  At this point the movie flashes a bit back and unfolds the storyline.  One aspect of the film that I really enjoyed was the horror of the plague doctor’s mask.  Using this was an excellent idea because those masks are unsettling even in a not-so unsettling scenario.  A cloaked dummy with the plague doctor’s mask on is used as a symbol of luck and inspiration for our main character, the horror novelist.  There was a point where our character had stopped writing horror and began writing “Love Novels” which resulted in her book sales plummeting.  After witnessing something heartbreaking she decides to move to an isolated old town that one of her stories was based.  This is where the story really begins to unfold.  Our heroin comes across a stranger on crutches looking for a ride to avoid the freezing cold.  After turning him away, in a very kind manner, she arrives home only to discover the man’s cold dead body lying in her driveway.  Incredibly shook up, she quickly hides the body in fear of incarceration at which point her mind begins to unravel.  The plot starts to get thicker and I find myself really invested at this point.  This scene is very reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” except our character is not entirely guilty.

As the film continues to travel through a mind warping rabbit hole we begin to see how mentally strong and messed up our main character is.  There is some reoccurring music throughout the movie that I really enjoyed – it reminded me of music you would hear in a suspense/thriller-esque film with a strange skipping noise. This was an excellent touch that made these scenes particularly powerful.  As the film continues we see how hard our main character is struggling internally and you can’t help but feel bad for her.  I didn’t get the usual feelings of pity I get during horror movies but more of an ache in my gut.  I could feel the stress building up and though it may sound cliche, you could cut the tension as if it were butter. Though there is a musical and instrumental soundtrack throughout the film the director also made use of silence in a very powerful way during the shocking and disturbing scenes. I appreciated this because it took away the musical cues for cheap jump scares and allowed the acting to really take a-hold of you.

The last half of the movie is written incredibly well and I wasn’t able to predict what would unfold and the climax caught me completely off-guard. I felt a bit confused at first but I continued to let the images run through my brain as I soaked in what I was seeing. INSPIRATION is more of a psychological horror which is always a nice breath of fresh air in a genre full of slasher or supernatural flicks.  There was also a very nice twist to the plot which left me feeling fairly satisfied after finishing the film.  Overall, I really enjoyed this movie from beginning to end and the only issue I had with it was I felt it could have been a bit longer, although the attention to detail throughout was excellent. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to be scared.  It’s a great story that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the duration of the film.  I will most definitely be looking more into Skeleton Key Films and I look forward to what is to come from them in the future!

Signing off, this is Devin.  Stay creepy all you wide eyed weirdos!

Devin March
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