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  • Greetings again from the darkness. Director Rodney Luis Aquino opens his first feature film on a happy and loving family consisting of father/husband, mother/wife, and son. They are a normal family who eat dinner together while discussing spitballs. The wife questions the husband's "vacation beard" ... a beard that has, by the looks of it, been growing for 3-4 months, leaving us to wonder what kind of benefits his employer offers. Their paradise is rocked one evening when the National Emergency Warning goes off. We learn from the news reports that the Earth has gone off its axis, leading to weather catastrophes around the planet.

    We then flash forward as narrator Lisa (the wife) informs us "The Turn" occurred three winters ago, and sometimes she wonders if this is all a dream. It's not a post-apocalyptic world, but it might as well be. She tells us there are rumors of cannibalism; however, in this family they hunt for food and scrounge for water. Adam takes his bow and three arrows in hopes of nabbing dinner. But Adam (Jason Sutton) is no superhero. He leaves his beloved Lisa (Jennifer Faith Ward) and son Sam (Michael Campion) at the campsite. When he returns empty handed, he discovers his family has been taken. His mission is no longer wild rabbit for dinner, but rather rescuing his loved ones.

    On his journey, Adam crosses paths with Fred (Joseph Gatt, whom you'll recognize from many roles), who tells him about "Eden", a community of good folks who are forming a new society. It's here where we learn that the bloody handprint signs Adam has seen along the way belong to Donner, a vicious guy who was kicked out of Eden. Of course, we understand that Adam and Donner are headed for a showdown if the family has any hope of survival. Veteran character actor Tom Proctor plays Donner, and he brings all he can to a role that embodies evil ... Donner is a deliciously nasty fellow.

    With an ultra-low budget project, some slack must be given for production value. Kraig Swisher takes on the rare combination of screenwriter and cinematographer, and at times the dialogue could have used a jolt, while the visuals never seem to take full advantage of the Florida and Georgia filming locations. The sound mixing is entirely too noticeable at times (those footsteps), and Mr. Sutton doesn't really have the chops yet for leading man. Mr. Gatt and Mr. Proctor certainly elevate the film during their sequences, and the soundtrack is mostly in sync with what we see on screen. Overall, there are some fine moments, though we would have preferred the scenes of peril and danger to go much deeper, along with some more incisive commentary on the likelihood that most humans would take shortcuts when things go badly (like what is currently happening).
  • Wasn't expecting much from this one, but surprisingly it was pretty good. Very basic low budget apocalyptic movie that kept my interest. It helped itself being short and to the point instead of long and drawn out. Not going to add anything to the genre but worth the watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    WARNING: Minor Spoiling

    When Earth's magnetic poles flip, what would happen to civilization as we know it? When hot becomes cold, wet becomes dry, and weather wreaks havoc placing humans in alien atmospheres forced to live in foreign weathered environments... what would happen to humankind?

    Finding Eden by Left Digital Media and Going' Ballistic bring this to the forefront in Rodney Luis Aquino's directorial debut. In a popular story-line, very much like ​The Walking Dead, this post apocalypse thriller is triggered by a pole shift in Earth's geomagnetic fields. Rather than a brain virus infecting human minds turning them into dead, carcassed hosts feeding on live human flesh, living human beings actually make the conscious decision, while alive, to feed on their own kind.

    Now, the alternative could be that humans evolve and adjust to the scarce food supply by turning into plant eating vegans... but instead, writer Kraig Swisher has them make the choice to deny civilization and turn on each other after "the turn."

    This is a story-line that could be stretched into a television series. I would like to see more on the weather extremes displacing humans from their homes, deeper exploration on the pole flip, and perhaps an unearthing of a lost city from the seas shifting while the main character is searching for his family.

    Which brings me to...

    Adam! Actor Jason Sutton is Adam who is the main character playing the doting father of Sam - played by Michael Campion who just landed himself a role on Fuller House in 2016 (also known in Robo-dog.) Adam is also the devoted husband of Lisa, played by Jennifer Faith Ward, where the two share an unbreakable bond that is genuinely a refreshing site to see - considering the repeated scandals smearing the minds of everyone of late. It is nice to have a story of dedicated, undying love in a cruel, barren, cannibalistic world.

    After "the turn," the loving family of three stay as long as possible until the inevitable happens and they are forced to ditch "civilization" in hopes to find salvation somewhere else. You hear Lisa's voice narrating what it's like living in this new found hell while Adam is hunting for his family... and then that's the last time you hear her voice! At this point, cannibalism is only rumored to be (under their knowledge.) Now Adam's wife and son are missing! What is he to do?

    Navigating the barren terrain, the silence is escorted with screaming, screeching, and buzzing insects - accompanied by the complementing placement of the movie soundtrack and score. The director communicated the loneliness of a barren path quite precisely. Reminded me of the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks.

    During this search to find his family, Adam keeps seeing a branded bloody hand-print, giving the notion "THEY have been here" or "THEY are close by and, perhaps, are watching you." It could be a sign leading towards help - or a sign forcefully intimidating mankind. After all... this is the apocalypse and there's no such thing as paint!

    Continuing on his mission, Adam runs into Fred, played by the Joseph Gatt! You may have heard of him. He's been in Star Trek Into Darkness, Banshee, Game of Thrones, and Thor, to name a few -- with no signs of stopping anytime, soon. After a near death battle, Adam earns Fred's trust when he learns Adam is not one of "them." Fred then tells Adam of this new place called "Eden" where civilization is slowly starting to form again in a tight knit community. He also warns him of the branded hand-print - as it comes from Donner, who is not to be taken lightly.

    Donner, played by Tom Proctor (known for Birth of a Nation, Nashville, Criminal Minds, and Guardians of the Galaxy) is much like the fallen angel of Satan, but in the real world, who got kicked out of Eden because he didn't play nicely with others.

    Given the (now) fact that cannibalism is widespread, Adam refuses to leave with Fred to escape to Eden so he can find his family. Fred refuses to help him, and Adam is completely on his own. He, of course, runs into Donner and figures out for himself why he is to be allowed no where near women, children, and even civilization.

    Playing a slick one, Adam tries to trick Donner into believing he wants to join their clan. Donner is impressed, but not without reservation. A series of tests and tricks to bring Adam to his breaking point is played out in a well- surprising ending that hits you in the face like a sledge hammer! What's in the soup?! We will never know.

    Finally, what gripped me about the whole movie was how well the musical backdrop is placed throughout. The musical placement is engaging and is what really drew me in... to say the least. Nothing I hate worse than having a movie ruined by the musical narrative not shutting up. There are times when silence is supposed to speak - and Finding Eden misses none of these moments. Well done!

    I can certainly see this thriller/drama stretched out in a series which will fall nicely onto the pallets of those whose thirst is not yet quenched from the brain juice of the ​The Walking Dead! It hits this audience well, as well as audiences wanting to see scenarios concerning the global warming crisis, the Earth's pole flip, and other extreme weather crisis issues.

    There's a lot to play with, here. Another great spin I would love to see is more of the poetic referencing to the bible and the Garden of Eden. Storytelling is all about metaphors and this screenplay is one that has embodied many to prey on. #punintended.