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Although the film has periods of interminable dialogue and even worse acting, the flick is ascetically pleasing and features a number of surprisingly effective performances.
Synopsis: The story is centered around a boy named Sam (played by Adam Taylor Gordon), who – is having a hard time dealing with his parents divorce (FYI: Sam’s Dad cheated on his Mom). Sam’s parents admitted him to a mental hospital because he cuts himself and is being tormented by his own drawings of images, places and people, he often times can’t explain.
Upon his release from a mental hospital, Sam and his Dad purchase 4 unique horses for them to take home and raise on the farm. During the trip home, horses in tow, Sam sees an apparition in the road, he causes his Dad to wreck. Soon Sam finds himself trapped on a ranch with a creepy man by the name of Ben Zachary (Henriksen) who seems determined to turn Sam’s dad over to “the dark side”.
Soon, Sam’s nightmares and visions return but this time they are more intense and they are appear to be centered around the mysterious Ben. Sam is soon convinced that Ben and the farm are evil and he and his dad must leave immediately or else.
The main critics of this movie, oppose it for the simple reason that it isn’t, nor did it ever advertise itself to be, a blockbuster Hollywood slash fest. For those, who enjoy horror films, this film may shine the light on your insatiable habit towards viewing death, sex, destruction and sheer brutality and senseless violence.
The central aspect of the story, just in case you miss it, is a boys relationship with his father and the role the father plays in the normal/natural development of a child–especially his son.
While the move pales in comparison to the brutality and absolute depravation of the likes of the “SAW” franchise, The Garden is for those who approve of tasteful horror, in the context of a semi-decent script with more then capable actors. To Christians, the movie may be a little much for the younger audience but is a well spent Friday/Saturday night with the teens ages 15-19. Equally, the symbolism in the film, maybe a little too cryptic for those unfamiliar with scripture and biblical references.
The Garden does feature an expectedly sinister performance from Henriksen, the bottom line is that the Christian Community will appreciate the movie and the impact it has made in its genre, others will watch the film and compare it to others in its secular category. What’s more surprising is finding a movie that shows a realistic struggle, morality, heterosexuality, the rare father-son bond, and the overall battle of good vs. evil
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
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