• Feed The Light



    Released by: Intervision Picture Corp.
    Released on: June 27th, 2017.
    Director: Henrik Möller
    Cast: Lina Sundén, Martin Jirhamn, Jenny Lampa
    Year: 2014
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    The Movie:

    Writer-director-co-producer Henrik Möller’s feature film debut, clearly influenced but certainly not a literal adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s famous story The Color Out Of Space, tells the tale of a woman named Sara (Lina Sundén). Her daughter, Jenny, has gone missing after Sara last her in a custody battle to her ex-husband (Patrik Karlson). In hopes of finding her, she undergoes a genuinely bizarre job interview with the boss (Jenny Lampa) and then joins the night time cleaning crew of the strange medical research facility where her ex was employed.

    Her job, essentially, is to clean up all of the dust that gets in and causes problems in the building with pests. Before she starts, she’s given some protective eyewear intended to guard her eyes from the light in the building. As she explores the facility looking for Jenny, things get bizarre. When one of her co-workers winds up coming into contact with the dust, he changes into something far from human. At the same time, she also runs into her ex, attempting to make a documentary expose about the facility, though she can’t help but notice that he too seems changed from his experiences in the building. As things go from bizarre to dangerous she and her supervisor Vaktmästaren (Martin Jirhman) team up with Sara’s ex to try and get to the bottom of this.

    Feed The Light is one of those smart low budget pictures that doesn’t try to bite off more than it can chew. Minimalist by design in many ways, the film sees Möller gear the picture towards what he did have to work with rather than what he didn’t. As such, effects set pieces are kept to a minimum and there’s a lot of emphasis put on the effectively weird locations used for the shoot. The atmosphere this conjures up, one of dread and of helplessness mixed with mystery and some sort of otherworldly supernatural element, is further enhanced by the odd visuals of people wandering around with gas masks on and some intense high contrast lighting.

    The performances here are pretty strong, if occasionally over the top (which seems to be a deliberate choice). Martin Jirhman plays the perpetually angry lead custodian well. He’s salty, irritable and brash but he’s an interesting character nevertheless. Patrik Karlson as the ex-husband is also very good. We know as soon as we meet him that he’s seen more than the other characters realize and as this plays out, he gets some good opportunity to take his character in some interesting and unexpected directions. Lina Sundén is the best of the bunch, however. She’s a great leading lady, charismatic without overdoing it, sympathetic without coming across as whiny and able to inject Sara with some truly believable humanity.

    There’s a very obvious David Lynch influence here, not just with the visuals but with the use of sound as well. We get a feeling similar to something like Eraserhead or some of his early short films rather than his glossier major studio films, but at the same time Möller manages to put his own stamp on things and deliver something truly unique. It’s a strange film to be sure, but this picture stands as one of those all too rare low budget films where creativity and craft result in a finished product that holds its own against pictures made for more money and with more resources. On top of that, it’s also got some genuinely good acting and more than a few moments that you absolutely will not see coming.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Feed The Light debuts on Blu-ray framed at 1.78.1 and presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition. The transfer here would appear to reflect Möller’s intentions in terms of how the movie should look, and that seems to involve occasionally employing some tweaking. The movie doesn’t go for natural, rather it goes for mood. As such, the (mostly) black and white image does sometimes boost the contrast levels for artistic effect. When color is employed or when tinting is used, it makes for some interesting visuals and the disc handles all of this quite well. Compression artifacts pop up in a few spots but they’re minor. Otherwise, detail and texture are fine and this turns out to be a pretty solid transfer of a decidedly quirky looking movie.

    The only audio option for the disc is an LPCM 2.0 Stereo track in Swedish with removable subtitles available in English only. The most impressive aspect of the lossless audio is the score, which has some pretty strong power behind it. Dialogue sounds pretty clear, occasionally a little shrill in one or two spots but you wonder if that was on purpose. Otherwise, no issues here, the levels are well balanced and there are no audible issues to note.

    The main extra on the disc is a fifteen minute making of featurette that is comprised of a mix of cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes footage. It’s a fairly interesting piece as it gives us some insight into what was involved in getting this low budget production completed as well as what it was like to work on the project.

    Aside from that, a short three and a half minute piece called The Lovecraft Influence (which ,as the title implies, sees the director detail the influence of the author’s work on this movie) and a trailer for the feature round things out. Menus and chapter selection are included.

    The Final Word:

    Feed The Light is really well done. It’s a strange film but an engrossing on, a low budget picture that wisely avoids trying to bite off more than it can chew and that puts an emphasis on mood, atmosphere and character. Intervision’s Blu-ray release has a few interesting extras and it presents the movie looking about as good as you get the impression it should. Lovecraft by way of Lynch? Maybe, but it works.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!