BITS pairs up Nick Szostakiwskyj’s Hammer of the Gods with Nelson Dunk’s The Devil You Know. The latter is a kitchen sink argument film between two sisters because of one them is a serial killer. The killer’s adamant points about her identity makes audiences think about human beings’ dark side.
Gods isn’t so much about family as it is about a band. That group is Sled Dog, a one hit wonder act that’s trying to get their juices back with a canoeing and camping trip in British Columbia. We know this because it chooses radio exposition instead of choosing mood.
At least Gods speaks to the city folk’s fetishistic view of the countryside. It’s a place that people flock to to recharge, but it can also kill those pilgrims, whether or not there are monsters lurking behind the trees or if it’s just plain old cabin fever that destroys them.
Nature is an equalizer, where big famous people can feel small. But there’s no hint of tension or danger during the first scenes. Canadian cabin horror isn’t my favorite sub genre anyway since it hasn’t produced anything fruitful in a while. At least it should give us compelling characters.
The film takes too long to get weird, and as it makes us wait for that to happen, the dynamic between the cast is equally static. Guitarist Eric (Rob Raco) sticks with his drummer girlfriend Olivia (Samantha Carly). Meanwhile, bassist Mitch (Josh Collins) stays with super fan April (Parmiss Sehat).
Szostakiwskyj is a BITS Film Fest regular, gracing us with Black Mountain Side, which was good. Both are examples of subtle horror but this newer work underplays those genre touches way too much and instead, it manifests as hints, as paranoia, as voices that don’t build up to something scary.