Land of Smiles – A Film Review
Thailand, a place of beauty, self discovery, and one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations. Through the eyes of Writer/Producer/Director, Bradley Stryker, comes a twisted and aesthetically gorgeous work of nerve-racking and suspenseful chaos brought to us by Stryke-Force Films and ITN Distributions.
“Land of Smiles” is the story of Abby, a fundamentally misguided college student who embarks on the journey of a lifetime and soon finds herself the unknowing victim of a horrific cat and mouse game at the hands of a malicious and ambiguous sociopath.
The lead in this picture is portrayed by Alexandra Turshen. Turshen brought with her a solidness to the role, almost a “immature” maturity that the role required. The character struggles with a roller coaster of emotions and Alexandra not only hit every mark, but she also gave the audience a glimpse into the old “Blair Witch” suspense that has been cast to the wayside as of late.
Keenan Henson costars as Ben, the self-indulgent and diluted amateur film maker who has been denied his grant to finish his film, and is running out of time and money to finish his work. Keenan really hits the nail on the head with this role, in all honesty he really makes the viewers feel for him, question his integrity, and constantly leaves them in a state of wonder.
Jewel, as played by Caitlin (Cromwell) Stryker, gives a solid and trusting foundation to the cast. In many cases, especially in the “who-done-it” cinematic universe, it’s not uncommon for the more monotone characters to be ignored or easily forgotten, but it’s their exact presence that builds the structure of suspense, and they offer reliable and necessary footholds for the plot to progress.
Bradley Stryker(Writer/Producer/Director) as Dale, and Amie Barsky as Tabitha are certainly both entitled to an honorable mention as strong, appropriately placed, and charismatic characters.
It’s an absolute breath of fresh air, especially in this horror-soaked industry, to find someone with the vision, both artistically and substantially, who can take the watcher into a world that most are unfamiliar with, add reliable characters, a realistic and terrifying plot device, and just enough nostalgia to welcome one back from the mundane.
Well done, Mr. Stryker
Thanks for reading,
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