Blood in the Snow 2015: ‘White Raven’

Andrew Moxham’s White Raven follows four friends (Andrew Dunbar, Steve Bradley, Aaron Brooks, and Shane Twerdun) as they head out for a weekend of male-bonding in the remote wilderness.  When one of the friends (Bradley) slowly begins to lose touch with reality, the others find themselves fighting for their lives.

There is a lot going on beneath White Raven’s by-the-books survivalist horror surface.  At its core, the film makes a serious attempt to explore the dynamics of male friendship with surprising nuance and depth.  The majority of the film focuses on the four friends in a single woodland setting and most of the action that drives the plot forward takes place during small moments between characters.

It’s also terrifying in a way that only truly thoughtful films can be.  While there are certainly moments of the film that are uncomfortable because of the tension at atmosphere, what sticks to your gut about White Raven is how plausible its premise is.  As the group struggles against the internal threat of their friend’s mental breakdown, the film shreds apart conventional notions of the healing capacity of nature, isolation, and booze while building up to a crescendo that is both shocking and inevitable.

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