Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - SEPTIEN Now On DemandJuly 06, 2011

Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - SEPTIEN Now On Demand

Sundance Selects

Editor's Note: ODW's review of SEPTIEN from Sundance Film Festival 2011 is republished for the current VOD release.

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - SEPTIEN On Demand (Sundance Selects).

Learn about all five films available simultaneously from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and On Demand here.

By Chris Claro


Challenging. Obtuse. Infuriating. The world of independent film is often all three at once. So it is with director Michael Tully's SEPTIEN, as undefinable and indescribable a horror film as one is likely to encounter all year. SEPTIEN tells the story of two brothers, Amos and Ezra, living together on a farm in the mountains. When their long-gone brother, Cornelius -- played by Tully -- returns home, the film swerves into a surreal trip that includes sports hustling, gas huffing, and the scary de-evolution of this backwoods clan.
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
Michael Tully / SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
Generating an air of menace from the first frame, Tully keeps the audience off-balance throughout what turns out to be a surprisingly conventional three-act structure. Ezra, vaguely feminine, seems more of a mother to his brothers than a sibling, cooking and obsessively scrubbing their rundown house. Amos spends his time painting macabre, sexually explicit works in the shed. 
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects) 
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
And the nearly silent Cornelius plays tennis and basketball -- brilliantly -- against locals for money, even as he filches gas from nearby pumps and passes out in fume-induced euphoria in the woods. Clearly damaged, haunted by some long-ago happening, it's only a matter of time before the three brothers are offered an opportunity for redemption. Or is it revenge?


SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)

SEPTIEN is notable for the fairly polished look Tully achieves on what is surely a shoestring budget. A departure from so many digital indies, it makes the most of its grainy 16-millimeter film grit. The portrayals, by Tully, Robert Longstreet, and Onur Tukel as the Rawlings brothers, are startling in their powerful stillness. 
Truly creepy, the three actors show the emotional deterioration of their characters, and their desire to "smother the demons" in powerful performances that stick to your psyche long after SEPTIEN has ended. 
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
If you're looking for an unsettling off-road detour into a land of hillbilly horror, you can't go wrong with SEPTIEN. When mountain men attack, it's a nerve-jangling journey into the darkness of the soul.

- Chris Claro

Chris Claro is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. He is a former Director of Promotion for Sundance Channel and now works as a writer, producer, and media educator. He is a regular contributor to and contributor to the Eyes and Ears section of


SEPTIEN is Available under Sundance Film Festival via Sundance Selects On Demand Until 2/28/11
Running Time 79 Minutes / TV MA

Direct from the Sundance Film Festival
Learn about all five films available simultaneously from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and On Demand here.


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