New Horror Releases: Besetment (2017) - Reviewed

Now available on VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment is the new indie horror film Besetment. It seems fitting to include a definition for the word besetment, seeing as I needed to discover its meaning. defines beset as: verb (used with object), be-set, be-set-ting. 1. To attack on all sides; assail: to be beset by enemies; beset by difficulties. 2. To surround; hem in: a village beset on all sides by dense forest. 4. Nautical. To surround (a vessel) by ice, so that control of the helm is lost. According to, the noun besetment refers to a common threat to icebreakers, where they are trapped in ice and unable to ram the ice to escape. Now that you have received a daily dose of knowledge, the title is appropriate for this movie as it is about a woman who is held captive and tortured by a mother and her son. While Besetment does venture into some dark and disturbing realms, it suffers from having a slow moving plot and the feel of a Lifetime movie or daytime soap opera. 

Amanda is looking for any type of work when she is offered a position at a hotel in a small town. She soon discovers that the nice caretaker has some evil intentions and Amanda must find a way to escape from her captors. The story isn’t anything new, as there is a long and storied cinematic history of crazed and demonic families who torture people for varying reasons. As previously mentioned, there are some twisted situations that take place and many viewers may find these to be unsettling. Despite these dark scenarios, it comes off as overly melodramatic compared to similar films. The developing plot moves a bit too slow, with the violence and horror elements not appearing until near the halfway point of the picture. 

The director makes good use of close up shots in order to capture dialogue scenes and the actor’s emotions. The exterior scenic shots of Oregon are also nice. The lighting for the interior scenes is a little too bright, especially during the day time. There is a fair amount of violent scenes that would please horror fans looking for some blood and gore. The main issue with the special effects is that they are poorly done and clearly look fake, losing any effectiveness in creating a truly dark cinematic moment. 

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The acting is a mixed bag and is part of the reason that it didn’t end up delivering as a top notch dark thriller. At times it’s good, and then at other times the performances are not very effective. The primary characters are portrayed by Abby Wathen (Under the Blood Red Sky) and Marlyn Manson (Known for her ‘60s television appearances), both have their moments where their performances are successful. The supporting actors make for an eclectic looking group that befits what would expect to appear in a small town. 

Available on VOD, Besetment is an average thriller that attempts to deliver a dark and twisted tale, but ultimately fails to do so.

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