To begin: there are two movies with this title on Amazon. I am talking about the 2018 film that is 59 minutes long.
At last, I am free of my run of dreadful low-budget horror/thrillers!
I mostly have really nice things to say about this short film, which really took me by surprise.
The film tells the story of a girl whose family is unlucky enough to fall into the murderous path of a band of lost and starving Civil War soldiers. The soldiers come to the house asking for food. Unhappy with what they are given, they take a vote on whether to go back to the house and take what they want. The two soldiers who do not vote yes are killed--one shot in the head and the other hanged. The main character is out of the house collecting firewood and returns to find her sisters dead in the home. Dressed in her dead father's clothing (and looking a little like a half-hearted Babadook cosplay, just sayin') and armed with her father's guns, she set out into the woods where she comes across the hanged man. Her hatred and her prayers mix into something supernatural and the dead soldier comes back to life. United by a desire for vengeance, the pair tracks the group of soldiers.
Just to get them out of the way, here were the criticisms I had of the film. First, much of the story is told via voice-over from the main character as she is being interviewed at some future time having been taken into custody, and the writing gets a little woo-woo and abstract at times. The actress delivers her lines in a creepy not-quite-monotone, but after a while line after line of "Their callousness burned a trail. They were floating in their own deceit. It is the peril of wicked men to think themselves safe," it started to feel like a bit much. Some of the text sounded ominous, but I was like, "What . . . does that even mean?". Also, there's a lot of electronically distorted music as the soundtrack. Mostly it was fine, but a few times they cranked it up just too much for my taste.
But now: the good stuff!
To begin with, I am grateful that the John Law, who made this film (he wrote, directed, edited, composed, and stars as the resurrected soldier) kept it to an hour. So many movies pad their run time to be considered "feature length", and I think this film would have really suffered. Across the board the acting is pretty good. Some are stronger than others, but the central performances are all fine to pretty good, and the actress at the center of the film holds her own pretty well.
The scenery is pretty amazing, with towering trees and a snowy landscape that looks cold and barren. I read in the trivia section that all of the lighting was natural lighting. I believe it, and it looked good.
Mostly, though, this film had a lot of scary, haunting touches that I really liked. When the girl returns to find her sisters slaughtered, she notes "I never did find my mother". Later, when the man is interviewing her, he says some borderline creepy stuff ("I have a granddaughter your age. . . I do have a particular inclination towards those of the female persuasion") and she looks over at a young soldier who is on guard duty. Instead of leering at her to drive home the implicit threat, he looks away, and it's so much more frightening. The film turns on this theme of people doing wicked things or sitting back and letting wicked things happen. There are also just some really cool shots, like someone splitting wood and as the pieces fall apart you see figures appear in the newly empty space. Or when the girl retrieves her father's guns from atop a cabinet, and her hands groping for them are very evocative of a small child trying to reach something on a table or a counter top--just really driving home how young she is. A drop of blood sliding down a body soon after mirrored by a falling tear.
The kills are decent and disturbing. The film takes a more minimal approach to most of them, which is good because bad effects are really distracting.
Also, frankly, this movie earns a whole point for being a revenge story starring a female character and not being about rape.
Just generally I thought that this was a really strong effort. When you look at the credits, the actors and actresses themselves apparently did a chunk of the filming. I was very impressed by it.