Watching THE POND was honestly almost painful. If you’ve ever driven down a long and narrow New York street behind a garbage truck making its pickups and you just can’t fit to get around it and so must wait patiently, driving about five miles per hour until finally, you get to the corner and freedom, you know what it feels like to watch this film.
THE POND, starring Marco Canadea as a college professor who was recently let go from his job, is mourning the loss of his wife. It is unclear how much time has passed since his wife’s death, but it is apparent that his relationship with his daughter and new girlfriend is strained. He’s retreated with them to a small town near a pond where he is continuing his work, which he seems completely obsessed over.
Honestly, it’s confusing what is causing him to believe he is on the threshold of a major discovery. Between him having visions of a man with a tree for a head and shots of two little girls behaving weirdly, I was left totally lost. The professor starts to become paranoid and unsure what is real and what’s not and again, it’s not apparent why. The plot is non-existent. It’s never clear just what “discovery” the professor is on the verge of. There are shots of him speaking with someone from the university and even those conversations were vague.
The acting, with the exception of the actress who played the daughter, was not good. Marco Canadea, as the brooding professor was a bit wooden, and Leslie Kunz as Abby, the professor’s girlfriend and former student, seemed like she was reading the lines from a book. I realized their relationship is supposed to be strained but it was hard for me to understand that some sort of connection had ever taken place in the relationship. Even in films in which a relationship is troubled, the viewer can usually get a feeling for how it might have been before the trouble began. However, there is no sense of that in THE POND.
The ending of THE POND was anti-climactic and baffling. There was no indication in the script that the film was moving in the direction that the audience was taken. In films with twist endings, you’d expect this. But in this film, the ending did not feel like a twist. It felt like the ending of a different film was tacked on here.
The scenic shots were very well done. Much of the credit for that goes to the visual effects team, supervised by Vuk Tatalovic and Josip Modli. There were many shots of a desolate, yet beautiful country-side that might have set the mood for a haunting film. Unfortunately, THE POND did not do the visual and scenic efforts of the team justice. Instead, the pace was slow, the plot confusing, and there was no payoff for viewers by the movie’s end.
THE POND is available to watch now in home theaters on Digital and On Demand via Scream Factory and Shout Studios!