Indie Tuesdays: White Raven

Old friends Pete (Steve Bradley), Jake (Aaron Brooks), Kevin (Andrew Dunbar), and Dan (Shane Twerdun) are about to get together for their yearly guys weekend. It’s a chance for them to reconnect, as well as getting away from the problems of their everyday life. Jake is dealing with job loss that is putting stress on his marriage. Dan has been avoiding relationships by hooking up with waitresses at his work, but he’s gotten one of them pregnant and he’s not sure what to do. Kevin is pretty sure that his wife has been cheating on him, and Pete is still dealing with the break up of his last relationship, even though it’s been 3 years. Once the men reach the vast wilderness, one of them slowly starts to lose his grip on reality, threatening to take himself and the rest of his friends down a dangerous path. Writer/director Andrew Moxham delivers a slowly paced, but unnerving thriller with White Raven. The film may not hide its secrets very well, and it’s rather obvious who the unstable character is going to be, but with strong performances and a very natural script, the end result is quite satisfying. Full...

Boys Weekend Gone Bad.

The annual camping trip taken by four old friends goes awry as one of them becomes increasingly unstable. Knowing nothing about this movie prior to viewing really helped my experience, as it has a very simple premise. I didn’t even know it was a lost-in-the-woods movie until the four characters introduced in the first act all met up for their yearly excursion. White Raven was a sedate, yet increasingly intense movie that really resonated with me. The interactions between the four friends seemed very familiar to me, as I saw parts of myself and my oldest friends in them. This naturally made me invested in seeing how things were going to play out. I really don’t want to downplay how much truth there was in Moxham’s writing. This is often how guys behave with each other, as Shane Twerden‘s character Dan says late in the film, “We’re men. We don’t talk to each other.” We don’t generally share our feelings, and modern technology has only helped further compound this. It tends to distract us from the important stuff. The hard stuff. In the movie, one of their foursome is going through some serious shit, and the only reason the other three were forced to deal with it is because they were stuck in the wilderness together. White Raven obviously presented a worse case scenario, but the reality within was staggering. …. Full article:...

WHITE RAVEN – Review by Greg Klymkiw – 2015 Toronto Blood in the Snow Film Festival

The oft-used phrase “the script’s the thing” and its variants on a similar theme may well have entered the industry lexicon as cliches, but the fact remains that good writing ultimately makes for good movies. Some writing is so good, it can even be director-proof if the material is at least covered competently. Luckily, White Raven is a picture that excels on both fronts. Writer-Director Andrew Moxham has delivered the goods on a movie that’s as savage as it is creepy as it is altogether imbued with humanity. It also works very nicely on the most enviable perch of “what the fuck”. You’re watching the picture, hopefully with no expectations going in (as it was for me) and you’re gripped by the opening sequence, but it gives you just enough information that you’re in that wonderful “what the fuck” territory. Then it shifts perspectives and characters three more times. Each time, you’re “what the fuck”, but not in a bad way at all – each time, you want to know more and to shift forward. One thing becomes certain during the picture’s first third – you appear to be in a kind of Raymond Carver-Neil LaBute territory in terms of four separate stories detailing male-female relations going (or having already gone) sour. The mise-en-scene is grittily kitchen-sink (not unlike the early to mid 60s “angry young man” pictures of the British New Wave) and the writing is always charged with a nice balance of ambiguity and pointedness, tenderness and rage – bereft of the occasionally effective, but often nastily trick-pony characteristics Neil LaBute used to be accoladed for in...

A Look Andrew Moxham’s Survival Horror Film ‘White Raven’

A Look Andrew Moxham’s Survival Horror Film ‘White Raven’ by Kelli Marchman McNeely on November 26, 2015 in Horror, horror, Horror News, Indie Film, Trailer In Andrew Moxham’s survival horror film, ‘White Raven’, four friends set out on their yearly boys-only camping trip in a remote area. As one the group gradually loses his mind, the trip takes a turn for the worse as the other three friends must now fight for survival. ‘White Raven’ Stars Cindy Busby, Sarah Smith, Catharine Michaud, Andrew Dunbar, Shane Twerdun, Aaron Brooks, Steve Bradley, Preston Vanderslice and Missy Cross. The film was written and directed by ‘2012’ actor Andrew Moxham. The indie film gets its name from the Pacific Northwest Native American creation legend of the White Raven. Full article:...

WHITE RAVEN [REVIEW]

“What are we afraid of?” “I don’t know; we’re men. We don’t talk to each other.” It’s a powerful admission that comes towards the end of Andrew Moxham’s feature directorial debut, White Raven, a film that examines the perils of masculinity. Four men – Pete, Dan, Kevin, and Jake – are introduced to us in a series of scenes that indicate their lives and relationships are dysfunctional. White Raven opens a window into these characters’ troubled lives, and the dialogue feels immediate, naturalistic, and believable. As it turns out, these four men are old friends who go on a weekend-long “boys trip” once a year. This year, Dan, Kevin, and Jake are meeting up with Pete to go on a day and a half hike into the wilderness. Once the four meet up, the transition from broken to boastful is startling. It’s obvious that all of these men are hiding things from each other and their forced attempts at fun and manly camaraderie are uncomfortable and painful to witness. We know, as do they, that Pete is the most damaged of all, and in an effort to avoid talking about their own issues, they focus on his. It’s sadly ironic and genuinely scary then, when Pete turns on them. The acting in White Raven is uncanny. Shane Twerdun, Andrew Dunbar, and Steve Bradley appear in stark contrast to the mannered hysteria they displayed in recent Canadian indie horror She Who Must Burn, thus revealing their impressive range. Red Heartbreaker provides the hauntingly beautiful score, comprised of only a capella harmonies. Although the music suffuses the entire film, it’s clear...

Review: WHITE RAVEN Delivers Where It Counts

There’s a compelling premise at the heart of White Raven: four friends, a cooler of beer and a pistol go camping. And for a good chunk of the film’s running time there’s a believable comradery among the four, as though the pals from Stand By Me reunited in middle-age to relive the adventure of finding Ray Brower’s body. Granted, there’s significantly more dread hanging over the proceedings (as there is in much of adult life), and the dead at the end are significantly fresher. But it takes more than 20 minutes before they follow the train tracks into the woods; 20 minutes that’s spent telling us that Dan (Shane Twerdun) the bar manager got a barely-legal barmaid pregnant, Jake (Aaron Brooks) lost his pilot’s license after failing a drug test, Kevin (Andrew Dunbar) the devoted dad has a wife who’s cheating on him and Pete (Steve Bradley) has gone all weirdo-beardo woodsman who only goes into town so he can buy booze and stalk his ex (guess who’s packin’ heat on this little boys adventure?). It’s important backstory—which each character then reveals over beers around a campfire, rendering those opening 20 minutes pointless. Compare that to the backwoods survival horror classic Deliverance, which opens with the four friends already wheeling down a dirt road in Appalachia and only eases off the gas long enough for banjos and buggery. Of course, Deliverance dealt with the modern man’s ability—or inability—to adapt to and survive primitive challenges while being confronted with the very meaning of what it means to be a man. White Raven, on the other hand, is steeped in the...