Review: UNNATURAL (2015)

Nature is rough as it is, but what about when we upset it? Even worse…what about when we tamper with it? It will come back to bite us and in the film UNNATURAL, by Hank Braxton, it literally does!

SC-Unnatural4Martin Nakos (James Remar) runs a small, isolated cabin in the arctic. Things are quiet and he and his small team keep a delicate balance with nature. When a photographer and his models fly in to do a shoot, things get testy but remain manageable. If only they stayed that way. Miles away, a secret research facility is experimenting with DNA of Polar Bears and one escapes. There is a bloodbath where only one survives, Dr. Hannah Lindval (Sherilyn Fenn).

SC-Unnatural1The next morning the photo shoot commences until the lead model is clawed and dragged down into the ice. One of the guides follow and a panic ensues. Nakos heads to see what is going on and happens upon the Dr. who explains that she is a victim of a terrible corporate plan. But is she really and is the Polar bear out there hunting them?

Unnatural is the latest film from Hank Braxton (Chemical Peel) which combines man verses nature, science gone amok, and 10 little Indians into a snowy good creature feature. What is great about the film is its use of the environment that it is set in. Instead of the landscape looking beautiful and picturesque, it instead feels cold, unforgiving and desperate. This would seem obvious, but in the film ALIVE, a film about plane crash survivors eating each other to stay alive, the snowy mountains are shot more as a winter wonderland that an unforgiving climate. Point being, Braxton and cinematographer Marc Carter make the most of the environment in the correct way. Brilliant.

237-Unnatural-Production-StillsThe film plays upon the isolation and paranoia created by the situation. You don’t trust any of the visitors but you aren’t sure why. There are missing pieces to the puzzle that come to you little by little. As  Dr. Hannah Lindval, Sherilyn Fenn is fantastic. Cunning and manipulative, she owns her scenes only matched by powerhouse James Remar. They have an interesting chemistry that I would like to see explored.

All in all, this is a solid thriller with a fast pace that does a good job of setting up the premise and characters quickly before tearing the world apart. Part of the 8 films to die for, this is one to definitely check out.

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