First off- let me say “What The Fuck?! This is the most wild and twisted exploration into the human condition that I have ever seen, and I loved every bleepin’ minute of it! “Exile” is probably the perfect blend of low budget indie filmmaking and science fiction surrealism. Directed by Adam Petke and Sean Blau, although the story’s pace and fluidity is so strong that you would think only one mind controlled the direction of this film. A lot of people will push it aside as ridiculous, but to be honest most people will see this film as I did, a true, original, captivating, emotional journey of human suffrage and escapism seen through the eyes of the youth.
“Exile” stars Fabianna Borghese, Jonathan Brophy, Dennice Cisneros, Ryan Finnerty. Dylan O'brien, and Katie Reed. The story is a moving, disturbing, coming of age in the wasteland that is so stripped down to a realness that is so recognizable and transferable into any genre. It just happens to be framed by a nightmarish, H.P. Lovecraftian form of first contact and the dichotomy of life inside a cult. “Exile” gives a relatable, recognizable premise and brings it into a hellish reality that is beautifully disturbing and effective.
The acting is pretty tight on all fronts, the cast are completely immersed in their characters, the script is evenly paced with chilling moments of horror and emotional segments of “life of the children that fall through the cracks”. The story moves with a somber beat of loss, despair that develops into determination and self preservation. Not to mention all the “real world” subtext symbolism that permeates this film. The direction Petke takes by keeping the style organic, and personal creates a deeply moving and unsettling reality for the characters
The special effects is the same concept as films like “District 9” but on a much smaller scale in regards to the CGI elements with the alien creature known as the “Angel”. The horror elements, and there are some awesome, dark, gory horror moments in “Exile”, stay practical and visceral. There is some CGI blood added during interactions with the Angel, but during the more dramatic scenes between the characters which end in horrific displays of Lovecraft inspired nightmares, the effects and blood are practical ones.
The soundtrack, sound effects used on “Exile” blend eerie instrumental sounds of sorrow and loss with added sound effects that are chilling. Together the sounds create a tense atmosphere of suspense that just elevates the emotional and dramatic struggle of the characters into areas of that are more horror than sci-fi. Honestly I would say that “Exile” is a horror drama more than it is a horror scifi blended story. Overall the film is a powerful, indie horror that gets everything organically right. It is honest, compelling, emotional, and entertaining. A truly chilling exploration of the human experience in horrific conditions. A must see film!