The Shasta Triangle Movie Review
Written by Karin Crighton
Released by Giant Pictures
Directed by Barry W. Levy
Written by Barry W. Levy and Helenna Satos
2019, 74 minutes, Not Rated
Released on December 3, 2019
Dani Lennon as Paula
Deborah Lee Smith as Charlie
Madeline Merritt as Meredith
Helenna Santos as Alicia
Ayanna Berkshire as Sam
Paula’s dad disappeared 23 years ago while studying a bizarre space and sound anomaly on Mount Shasta. Now an adult, Paula is determined that she can use his workbooks and symbology texts to find out the truth. Was he mysteriously transported, or did he really just leave his daughter all alone?
Quietly returning to her hometown, she meets up with her foster sister Sam (Ayanna Berkshire) to hike deep into the woods to a particular quadrant known for bizarre apparitions and teleportation. Unfortunately spotted by her old friends, they rush to join her and find out why she suddenly left town 12 years ago and is coming back without notice. Bribed to allow them along by Alicia (Helenna Santos, “The Flash”), a reporter looking for her big scoop, concerned Meredith (Madeline Merritt) and sweet Charlie (Deborah Lee Smith) join Sam and Paula (Dani Lennon) on their quest.
The Shasta Triangle has an interesting plot; while done before, Shasta finds some new ground and new ideas I haven’t seen before and the twist at the end is definitely surprising. But it’s bogged down by archaic scenarios about female friends, overly-long scenes, and repetitive conversation. Despite not seeing each other for over a decade, they immediately react with blaming and accusations rather than introducing these women with positivity. And Alicia spends far too long negotiating for access to the expedition; the scene goes on and on. There’s an unmotivated fight between Charlie and Alicia on the way to the town’s “Hide-and-Seek Tree” that results in Alicia saying something appearing to be homophobic, which is a real brick wall in enjoying this movie. Charlie shoots back with a jab about abortion; even more unappetizing.
The acting isn’t bad, it’s unpolished. Lines are delivered as an actor playing a character, and the editing leaves gaps in the dialogue that should have been snipped. The impending climax never really gets going with the lagging timing.
I do think The Shasta Triangle is worth a watch, it’s very rare that a movie can surprise viewers these days. The effects are surprisingly good for a micro-budget movie and the cheap-looking dimensional markers are all the more realistic for Paula to have made at home in her backyard.
It’s not perfect, but with some mindfulness and a willingness to step outside the comfort zone of archetypes, writer/director Barry Levy and writer Helenna Santos have great potential for sci-fi/horror success.
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