What is it about first time directors that make for such interesting debut movies? Sator is no exception. Jordan Graham has produced a low budget supernatural scarer in the woods movie, a film that took him seven years to complete all by himself. Other than the cast every role was fulfilled by Graham and his labour of love is a worthwhile watch if you enjoy being creeped out a slowly terrified.
Adam (Gabe Nicholson), who lives a life of isolation in a desolate forest. He spends his days hunting for food and keeping watch for a supernatural entity called Sator. Adam and his brother Pete (Michael Daniel) have been told to be wary of Sator by their grandmother, Nani (June Peterson), who claims that this spirit has been guiding her through life as a whisper in her ear. Whether or not the spirit plays any part in the death of family members remains a mystery.
With its low budget sensibilities, Sator keeps the viewer off balance with little to no soundtrack, which ratchets up the sense of dread and the visuals which chop and change from black and white to colour without warning. At times it feels very reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project and VVitch. The jump cuts in the editing process it really does keep things on edge too especially with slow burn the film employs that would otherwise have put some people off. The film is based on real life recollections from his Grandmother, which eventually lead her to being taken to a psychiatric hospital and this is where Sator really gets it’s overwhelming sense of helplessness from.
Sator is a triumph of film making for Jordan Graham and while it may not be for everyone with its off kilter camera movement and multiple styles, Sator with its very low budget, seems to have managed to find an unending supply of candles…
But if you like being unsettled and not want to wander around your house with lights off then Sator is demanding you check it out. It may also leave you not wanting to wander around in the woods for sometime after watching.
Sator is available on Digital and DVD Now