By JASON R. WALLACH
Starring Nathan Faudree, Tony Urban and Alan Rowe Kelly
Written and directed by Nathan Faudree and Tony Urban
If you took Roger Evans’ cult classic Forever Evil, added a dash of The Blair Witch Project and baked it in H.P. Lovecraft’s kitchen, the resulting dish might turn out something like SITE 13. By now, I think we’re all good and aware that Lovecraft is not easy to pull off on film. Rarely has the master of cosmic horror’s work translated well to the screen. SITE 13, having gestated for 17 years, manages to not only bring the Lovecraftian atmosphere but sustains it as well. The folks who brought us this film are fans of the old gentleman’s work, and it shows.
In the film, Dr. Nathan Marsh (Nathan Faudree) emerges from a ten-year catatonic state in a mental institution. At first, he is unaware of where he is and why. The bulk of the film takes us on a journey through his memory as he watches video recordings of the experiment that put him where he is. It has been discovered that, throughout our world, there are several sites through which an eldritch deity influences mankind to perpetuate its return, and Site 13 is the most worrisome. In the meantime, Marsh must find a way to banish this Outer One and spare humanity from its intentions.
What I like about this film is that it’s straightforward and just goes for it! The budget is not that of a Hollywood blockbuster, but the cast and crew do what they can to supplement that, and they do beautifully There are some cool special effects, the sound design and score are solid, and the acting is well grounded in the story. I must admit I’m not a huge fan of found footage films. Nevertheless, SITE 13 utilizes the style to anchor its continuity in the timeline of the film, and it works well. Director Nathan Faudree makes some clever decisions executing this film, and even though you don’t have to be a fan of Lovecraft to enjoy SITE 13, you’ll likely enjoy it a lot more if you are.
It would not surprise me if SITE 13 becomes a cult classic; It has all the ingredients. It reminds me of one of those films that you blind-rented in the 1980s on VHS and were pleasantly surprised as the credits rolled. Again, cosmic dread isn’t easily articulated on film, but Faudree and company pull it off and ramp it up, so heat up some calamari and buckle up for the ride!
SITE 13 from Terror Films is available to stream now on Tubi.