Director: Jeremy LaLonde
Writers: Amanda Brugel, Jeremy LaLonde
and Jonas Chernick
Starring: Amanda Brugel, Jonas Chernick, and Natalie Brown
Written by Amanda Brugel and Jonas Chernick, who also star in the film, and directed and co-written by Jeremy Lalonde, Ashgrove is set in a world that is in the middle of a pandemic, where the world’s water supply is toxic and killing people. The survivors are limiting their intake of water to avoid water toxic. Jennifer Ashgrove (Amanda Brugel) has the weight of the world on her shoulders, as the world’s top scientist trying to discover a cure. The stress of the job is causing her to have blackouts, and to try and destress to get back on track she takes a weekend away with her husband, Jason (Jonas Chernick). On the weekend away, tensions run high as secrets are revealed and pressures build up.
Jennifer and Jason are wonderfully created characters, that feel incredibly real. Amanda Brugel and Jonas Chernick have both done a great job of writing and bring the characters to life on screen. Throughout the weekend away, arguments arrive that are uncomfortable to watch, and feel very real. They are also joined by two friends, which is where everything comes to ahead. Sammy (Natalie Brown) and Elliot (Shawn Doyle), arrive at the farm to have a meal.
It’s hard to talk about this film without edging a little into spoiler territory. There is a secret that changes everything. Before the secret is revealed there is an overwhelming sense of dread. You know that not everything is being revealed and that secrets are about to come out. The chilling score heightens the tension that’s slowly building. The atmosphere is one of the best things about the film.
The pacing on this film is a little all over the place. It feels like the first hour is really dragged out, then a big twist happens, and everything gets back on track. The twist is perfectly built up throughout the story, with little hints here and there, and works really well. It brings back your engagement completely, and makes you rethink about a lot of the moments you’ve watched already. That’s the best kind of twist.
Ashgrove is a decent drama/thriller. It really excels at creating an unsettling atmosphere and the scenes of arguing are visceral and authentic. It’s a real shame that the film drags at points, but it still manages to keep you hooked as the twist happens.
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