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Fantasia 2020: Unearth Review

Fantasia 2020: Unearth Review

Loud atmospheric horns guide us from a helicopter's view of a truck driving through farmland environment. A dark musical score indicates a sense of unease and unknown danger. Captivating. George played by Marc Blucas is an out of luck mechanic with a dying business, a dysfunctional family, and acres of seemingly worthless farmland. The perspective changes to another family of farm land owners. They are all struggling financially and seem stressed with worry about the future. It feels like desperate measures are fast approaching. Kathryn played by Adrienne Barbeau is a head figure of her family who we meet at the start. She is a strong matriarch and her farm land is also looking at foreclosure, just like George's garage.  The two families grow as their household incomes shrink and opportunities are scarce.  And as the two families break bread, the elders discuss a world that's leaving them behind as bills mount while profits dwindle. The feel of sweltering heat and financial pressure are engulfing. 

When George strikes a deal with a faceless corporation, Kathryn is not happy. Her instincts scream against such a deal. 1 year later. Kathryn disappears and things begin to spiral for all. The eviscerated land is causing an apparent but unknown sickness in many of them. The one family member (Allison McAtee) of the two clans with hope for her future gets drowned by these issues and ends up in a fight for her life. It is an inspection of two families that can't break tradition, they choose not to see the impending wave of progress that is about to make them irrelevant. It is also a look at underlying psychological issues most people won't speak a loud. Many of the characters are losing hope and it is effecting each differently. Things turn for the worse when Kathryn's body is found. The physical impact of environmental tampering is also on display. As the two smash into each other head on, things only get worse and death comes to collect. Shocking. Subtly unnerving and uncomfortable. Insanity takes hold and actions are irreversible. The two families are changed forever and responsibilities continue to be shackled upon the neck of an unsuspecting progeny.

A final note. The closing scene is identical to the opening scene but it extends to the next frame of a modern society. That in itself is commentary on the overall narrative. Perhaps a warning of trying to ignore modernism. Or perhaps it is indicating that progress can be seen as a threat to well meaning people but it doesn't matter because it doesn't stop.- OZ

 

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