Movie Title: Flora
Genre: Adventure, Drama, History, Horror, Sci-Fi
Director: Sasha Louis Vukovic
Writer: Sasha Louis Vukovic
Starring: Teresa Marie Doran, Dan Lin, Sari Mercer, Miles G. Jackson, Caleb Noel, William Aaron, Paul Turcot, Kimberly Arcand-Lefort, Michael Turcot,
Review: In the summer of 1929, a group of botany scholars go on an expedition to an uncharted forest to study the native flora. When they discover a deadly organism it's literally man versus nature as these young students fight for their lives.
Flora is a suspenseful, slow-burn thriller that is the movie that The Happening wishes it could have been. This film was made for the festival circuit and shows a lot of film-making promise from writer-director Sasha Louis Vukovic. The story is a tale as old as time. A group of college kids go into the woods and fight for survival. But, what Flora does so well is that it goes against conventions, cliches, and common tropes, to tell a much more interesting and engaging story. The characters are intelligent and try to survive using science, logic, and common sense to free themselves from the terrifying predicament they are in. Intelligent characters in a scary movie, there's a concept. Another positive is the cinematography. It really does give you a claustrophobic feeling, like the forest is closing in on our characters and the audience - it's quite effective!
The acting is kind of hit and miss as these young, green (pun intended) actors try their best to appear they are straight out of the 1920s. The other problem is that the story moves a little too slow at times. I'm all for "slow burn" horror movies or thrillers, but don't make "slow" drift into "boring" territory. However, it does pick up and ratchet up the suspense in the third act, but just takes a bit too long to get there for my liking.
I did enjoy Flora for the most part. It was different enough to hold my attention, but the pacing issues and some of the acting took me out of this creepy little thriller. Oh, and don't worry. It's not a preachy environmental movie. "Save the Earth, Maaaannn!" It's more about what nature is capable of and how strong and dominate it is.
Fun Fact: Flora was an official selection to over 10 international film festivals.