BITS 2015: WHITE RAVEN

The native legend of the White Raven involves a mythical bird stealing light to brighten a dark world. Some say this act was for a better society, while others think it was a self-serving venture. Director Andrew Moxham uses this legend to explore the dark side of brotherhood. Opening with a sweeping bird’s eye view of a dense, endless forest, White Raven takes us on a journey that will forever change the lives of four friends. A much needed boy’s weekend has been planned for Pete (Steve Bradley), Dan (Shane Twerdun), Jake (Aaron Brooks) and Kevin (Andrew Dunbar). They all have different lives and each has his own share of problems: One is unable to forget an ex-girlfriend, another has a friend with benefits who is pregnant, there is the guy who numbs his pain with booze, and the fourth friend knows his wife is cheating on him. Despite these issues, nothing will stop them from keeping up the tradition of their annual get-together. This time around they jaunt into the woods for camping, drinking and to forget their less-than-perfect existences. It is in this serene setting that the men notice that Pete isn’t acting like himself. He is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend and the White Raven legend. Though the group tries to keep things jovial, old secrets die hard, and Pete has a grudge to settle in the worst case scenario kind of way. White Raven shows the dangers of all-consuming disappointments. Each man thinks the other lives a better existence. Experience dissatisfaction within their circumstances, each one is hungry for a piece of happiness but are they...

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. Full article:...

Exclusive Interview: Canadian Director Andrew Moxham On His Survivalist Horror Film WHITE RAVEN

Director of Canadian survivalist horror movie WHITE RAVEN speaks. Two of the very best films I’ve seen this year are set in the mountainous temperate rainforests of Canada’s west coast, featuring lost and haunted men hiking unmarked trails to oblivion. The first is Trevor Juras’ supernatural terror/absurdist comedy THE INTERIOR and the second is Andrew Moxham’s extremely stark exercise in anxiety WHITE RAVEN, which has its world premiere on Sunday, November 29th as part of Toronto’s Blood in the Snow Festival. Made by and starring the same core crew behind the recent work of Canada’s original indie film maverick Larry Kent (who’s been making films since the early 1960s!), including the criminally underrated EXLEY (2011) and ferociously angry Barry Convex Award winner SHE WHO MUST BURN (2014), which just so happens to be playing back-to-back with WHITE RAVEN at Blood in the Snow. If you’re in town for this superbly fun Can-Con horror fest, I’m telling you, these are the ones you want to see… Taking a page from DELIVERANCE (1972) and its little Canadian brother RITUALS (1977), WHITE RAVEN is a woodland band-of-brothers survivalist nightmare but without the external menace. The danger, instead, is the cracking sanity of one of the men in the gang, a worsening and obvious problem that the others hope will go away with just a little more beer-guzzling abandonment. Eventually there’s a tipping point into real violence, and desperate action becomes the only possible response. WHITE RAVEN is the story of four old friends: Dan (Shane Twerdun, the title character in EXLEY), a bar manager who’s getting a bit long in the tooth...