7 minutes into Justin Decloux’s Impossible Horror (2017), I was thinking “What the hell am I watching?”
Within 10 minutes, I was thinking “I hope that it never ends.”
Impossible Horror is a strange and singular animal, and likely to find as many confused detractors as besotted admirers. Written by Decloux and Nate Wilson, it’s a film with an abundance of imagination, infectious humour, and a visual and narrative style often reminiscent of a graphic novel, manga, or, at times, a video game. It also boasts truly engaging performances by Haley Walker and Creedance Wright as the unlikely duo at the heart of a spooky, stylized, and surreal adventure-mystery.
Lily (Haley Walker) is a lone wolf and an aspiring filmmaker. Eager to finally create something worthwhile, she is unsure of her own talent and still slightly reeling from the dissolution of a relationship that seemed to undermine her confidence in her abilities. Her tastes run to low-budget horror, so it’s fitting that she soon finds herself immersed in a frightening mystery when she decides to investigate the source of a bone-chilling scream she begins to hear night after night. A chance encounter with an eccentric stranger reignites Lily’s creative passions, and the two women face down both supernatural threats and their own personal demons on their nocturnal missions to identify and neutralize the neighbourhood menace.
Surreal, bizarre, and refreshing, Impossible Horror embraces its own deadpan quirk and gleefully indulges in its own wry cleverness. The dialogue vacillates between natural and rapid-fire, and the film deftly weaves its dark subject matter throughout a convincing and rather endearing story of a burgeoning and unusual friendship. Aiden Tanner’s lively and attractive cinematography pairs wonderfully with Emily Milling’s thoughtful editing. The result is an understated yet visually captivating film, replete with oft lovely colour-grading. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the musical choices; Emily’s Milling’s electronic score is jaw-droppingly good and well-suited to the story.
In Impossible Horror, Justin Decloux has created a weird, wonderful, wild little film, unexpected and inexplicable, with surprising heart and humour. It may very well sneak into my Top 10 list for 2017.
Impossible Horror is screening at the Midwest Weird Fest in March.
Score: 7.5 out of 10 hoodies.