Our Deadly Vows
our deadly vows | chris chalk | byron bronson | k.d. chalk | home invasion | slasher | drama | thriller | united states | ashlei sharpe chestnut | eden marryshow | chantal nchako | cesa pledger | natalie woolams-torres
Film: Our Deadly Vows
Director: Chris Chalk
Writer: Chris Chalk
Starring: Byron Bronson, Chris Chalk and K.D. Chalk
This was a movie that I got the chance to see via a screener thanks to Emma from Entertainment Squad. What I knew coming in was that this was an independent horror film and that intrigued me to check out. Other than that, I came into his one blind only knowing that information as well as the title.
Synopsis: Grace (K.D. Chalk) and Chance Charles (Chris Chalk) celebrate their one-year anniversary with friends before bidding them farewell…perhaps forever.
We start this at the wedding of the two from the synopsis. The movie then shifts to us in the car with them. They’re on their way to a weekend getaway, partially in celebration of their anniversary. It should be set up here that Grace is a writer and working on her book. Chance is driving and what I like here, we can feel their relationship. He says things about her friends that is hurtful. They both know that he means well.
They arrive where Mila (Cesa Pledger) and Remy (Eden Marryshow) are setting up. These two are married as well. They are ready to take the next step and have a baby. There is an issue here though. Mila has been cheating on him with Kit (Chantal Nchako) who shows up with her now fiancée, Laila (Natalie Woolams-Torres). Kit is a bit brazen with coming on to Mila while others are in the next room. The last couple to join are Douglas (Byron Bronson) and his wife, Lacey (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut). She isn’t fond of Mila and Douglas, who goes by DJ, is a loudmouth. He is a guy who considers himself an ‘alpha male’ while also hating that term.
What is good here is that everyone is catching up and it feels like a group that knows each other well. Mila got everyone their favorite snacks. Lacey is upset with her that nuts are in someone’s bag as she is severely allergic. We see that Kit is bossy toward Laila. Chance is giving a rough time by DJ, who looks down on him. Chance writes blog articles for little money while Grace is writing books and taking a teaching job that requires them to move.
Things take a dark turn during a game of truth or dare. Chance accidentally cut his finger off. He then disappears. As does DJ. Strange boxes are left, containing items about a person who is hurt or disappeared. With each of them is an envelope. Inside of it is a blurb as to why they’re being punished. As the numbers dwindle, it is a fight for survival to figure out who is doing this and how to stop them.
That is where I’ll leave my recap and introduction to the characters. Where I want to start is that we have a simple story. It is one that we’ve seen before. It is interesting that earlier this year I saw a movie called Fear. It was a similar premise. Not the same, but close. We have a group of friends who are isolated in the middle of nowhere and someone is attacking them. This doesn’t necessarily come after their fears, but whoever is behind this is going after their character flaws. It is almost a defacto-slasher film in that respect. We also get a bit of home invasion in the mix as well.
What makes this work though is the acting. It feels like a group of friends who’ve known each other for a long time. It helps that Chris and K.D. are a married couple. They also wrote this. Bronson is a jerk who keeps riding Chance at every turn. His ‘alpha male’ persona feels like people I know. I like that his wife, played by Chestnut, is on him to stop. She seems like she can rein him in a bit. Marryshow and Pledger are good. What is interesting here is that a comment gets brought up about cheating. Mila is currently having an affair. It alleviates issues when Chance, Grace, Kit and Douglas admit they’ve cheated in the past. The tension comes back though with how upset Remy is about the notion. All that is left then is Nchako and Woolams-Torres. They seem great, but we know Kit is cheating. We also see that she demands Laila do something and embarrasses her a bit with a look. The acting here is the best part. It did get a bit wooden at times and my guess there would be either clunky writing in needing something to be said or just actors who aren’t strong.
I’m then going to shift over to filmmaking. First, I’ll say that this looks good. The cinematography is solid. There aren’t any issues there. The problem I do have is that we don’t see the blood or gore here. Now I don’t need this going over the top. What we get is grounded. My guess is that they didn’t want to lean into that or couldn’t make it look good. It is strategic how this framed there. This just is a slight about wanting to see more than what we get. Other than that, I thought the soundtrack was strong with building the tension and atmosphere.
In conclusion, I’m glad that I checked this out. We get a premise that we’ve seen before. We get a group of friends that know each other and isolate them in the middle of nowhere. Their issues with each other come to a head as the tension mounts. There are a couple of hiccups with the acting, but that is still the strongest part. I’d say that this is well-made other than that. My issue there is that I want to see a bit more of the blood and aftereffects of things. The framing though is good to hide it if you can’t pull it off. I was pleasantly surprised here and would recommend giving this a watch.
My Rating: 7 out of 10
This is available through VOD and Digital Everywhere