Don't say its name

Don't say its name
Running time:84 minutes
Director:Rueben Martell
Release date:Not communicated
A small, snowbound Aboriginal community is about to see an economic revival. The mining company WEC has just signed a deal to drill on the native land and says everyone will benefit - except the land itself. Local activist Kharis Redwater is one of the people protesting the deal, until one day she is the victim of an unsolved hit-and-run that silences her....

Mulder's Review

We have to admit that this 25th edition of the Fantasia festival has allowed us to discover several excellent films and some good surprises. This worldwide panorama of genre cinema is not only captivating to cover but also allows us to discover new directors such as Rueben Martell who offers us here a horrific thriller in the vein of the best episodes of X files with its police investigation at the borders of the fantastic. For a first film, Don't say its name imposes Rueben Martell as a director to follow.

The action takes place in a small native community. Buried under the snow, the community is about to see an economic revival. The mining company WEC has just signed an agreement that allows it to launch a drilling project on Aboriginal territory and assures that everyone will benefit. Local activist Kharis Redwater was among those protesting the deal, until she was the victim of an unsolved hit-and-run that silenced her. As WEC begins its assault on the territory, she retaliates against the mining company and those who support the project. For policewoman Mary Stonechild (Madison Walsh) and park ranger Stacey Cole (Sera-Lys McArthur), the answer to the mystery lies in the traditions of their people and the vengeful spirits that have haunted their land for generations, about whom the people know only one rule: don't say their names. 

The scenario of Rueben Martell, Gerald Wexler is based on ancestral beliefs of the presence of spirits defenders of nature and decided to take revenge on humans who do not respect nature, whether children or young adults.  With many shocking scenes, Don't say its name reminds us how much the cult series X Files continues to influence many directors and allows us to see films like Don't say its name emerge. The plot is perfectly crafted and keeps us on the edge of our seats to compensate for the presence of well-known actors. It emerges a film that has the ability to surprise us constantly and to make us discover new actresses who have nothing to envy to those more known.

One of the originalities of Don't say its name is to put forward beautiful natural settings and to know perfectly how to bring the scenes of the film. The vision of the creature of the film will remind many of the shots of the film Predator by John McTiernan and the fantastic side of a creature that hunts humans with real dexterity. The film thus moves away from the simple framework of the horrific film and brings us a real dose of escapade far from our current situation in which the pandemic linked to the covid 19 prevents us from traveling around the world whether it is in the beautiful regions of Canada or in California.

Don't say its name
Directed by Rueben Martell
Produced by Rueben Martell, Gerald Wexler
Written by Rueben Martell, Gerald Wexler
Starring Julian Black-Antelope, Samuel Marty, Sera-Lys McArthur, Madison Walsh
Music by Beau Shiminsky
Cinematography : Douglas Munro
Edited by Bridget Durnford 
Release date : Augsut 18, 2021 (Fantasia)
Running time : 84 minutes

Seen on August 17, 2021 (Fantasia Screener press)

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