I wanted to like this film, because I have a soft spot for filmmakers working on a shoestring budget.
I really do admire what it takes to actually get a film produced and released these days in such a saturated market as DTV horror; and I realize funding is increasingly hard to come by, because as the economy wanes, so does the liquid funds needed to produce these films.
I just wish more time had been spent crafting the film, rather than shooting on a nice format, and hoping for the best, which is exactly what we have here.
The one thing this film has going for it, that's positive, is that they are shooting on a nice HD format. So the film looks very professional. But looks, as they tend to often do, can deceive.
"Looking nice", and actually having a script that's compelling, a story that makes sense, performances that are engaging, and dialog that actually works, are all very different ecosystems that need to function in one world.
With EMERGING PAST, there's only one functioning ecosystem here, and that's the cinematography. (and even within the overall look of the film being as nice as it is, it's still plagued by hackneyed camera movement and bungled direction.) All the necessary pieces that need to come together to make a film compelling are absent within this film EXCEPT the use of some nice equipment. It's as if the filmmakers literally bought the best possible camera on the market, and went to work saying "if it looks pro, it is pro," forsaking literally EVERY OTHER ELEMENT of basic film making.
This film can best be described as "awkward", and not awkward in the way a child is as we know they will someday mature into a fully capable adult because they show promising signs of the good things to come. This film is awkward in the sense that everything in this production was rushed together haphazardly, and from that the growth process of the writer/director/performers all involved is completely stunted as the film is constructed in the most anemic possible way, in an effort to turn a quick buck.
Sure, there are some familiar names from genre vets attached to the piece. But really, what's that all worth when the film fails on every level except one? I love low budget horror, don't get me wrong and I don't expect a masterpiece when I watch these schlocky genre films. But, what I look for in these low budget films is signs of promise. And with this piece, there's nothing promising.
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