WEAVERFISH (2013) is a British horror film that has a nice gritty, slow-burn, cinema verite feel to it, but the horror element leads up to a predictable, abrupt ending that may leave some viewers feeling flat.
The film begins with a group of young adults who grew up together now reuniting to explore the grounds of a local industrial plant that was shut down after a boy disappeared there years earlier. A lake winds through the area, providing a way in by boat. On the shore, they spend a night in wild partying until waking up the next day with far more than a hangover. They’re getting sick, very sick. Some type of disease that is changing their bodies.
The film centers on several characters: Reece, who is shy, into photography, and in love with Charlotte, who in turn is with Reece’s friend Matt and is irritated by how much attention he gets from other women. The dynamics of these relationships and those with other characters is realistic and contributes to the cinema verite feel.
When people start getting sick, things get more interesting, but then two elements fell short for me. First, the strange illness should have tested the relationships, forced revelations and change, or at least highlighted the need for change. Yes, unresolved relationships is like real life, but this is a story, not real life. A little bit of that would have gone a long way while keeping the feel of the film. Second, the illness culminates in a climax that is fairly easy to see coming, and so when the movie abruptly ends without much of a resolution, it fell flat for me.
Despite these complaints, I liked it and found it a worthwhile watch. The characters are likeable, the story feels real at least until the illness shows up, and overall, you get what you pay for with this indie horror flick.