Occurrence at Mills Creek (2020) reviews and overview

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[Total: 65   Average: 2.5/5]

‘A family secret is about to surface’

Occurrence at Mills Creek is a 2020 American feature film about a young woman’s reality eroding as she is haunted by the death of her sister. plagued by darkness hidden in her family’s past.

Written, produced and directed by Don Swanson (A Wish for Giants) with additional dialogue by Betsy Lynn George, Joe Fishel and Ava Psoras, the Spruce Films production stars the latter alongside Alexa Mechling and Betsy Lynn George.

Plot:

Struggling with the guilt of her sister’s accidental death, Clara soon begins to succumb to the same strange occurrences that have haunted her family for generations as she uncovers the unsettling truth about her lineage and its dark legacy…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Had the film spent a little more time establishing inciting incidents with all of the mysterious deaths, the middle could’ve had some more action, and the overall horror vibe could’ve remained consistent throughout. As it stands, Occurrence at Mills Creek is a film that will frequently pique interest but you may have to do a little bit of waiting in between.” Cinema Smack

” …an exceptionally well-made film about generational curses, both figurative and literal. It highlights the loneliness and insanity of intense grief. It’s an incredibly smart and sensitive meditation on these subjects, and then it turns into something crazy and even a little fun in parts. If you like intelligent slow-burns, this is a great film for you to check out.” Film Threat

“There was a feeling that this film was shot in order as they made the story along as they went, along with a plot that seems to just jump forward and backwards in time with hardly any rhyme or reason. Occurrence at Mills Creek then proceeds to double down on its poor plot with acting so bad that it is almost comical.” Horror Buzz

” …some parts of the story felt a little bit generic at times, and some story beats required you to not really think too much about how realistic they were. Overall though this was a most pleasant surprise, a film that once again shows the demons of the mind can have more power over a person than any actual demon.” The Rotting Zombie

“The practical special effects are schlocky but work in tandem with each revelation and, as the conclusion draws near, the tension increases with help from the haunting music and vocals from Mia Zanotti […] Director Don Swanson certainly knows how to put effective images on the screen and how to use a soundtrack to create mood, but at the end of the film, the audience, much like when Clara is left all alone, detached and somewhat disconnected from the final outcome.” Screen Critix

Occurrence at Mills Creek is such a strong movie, because it doesn’t look for easy answers, because it doesn’t try to explain things away, because it does leave it to the audience to make up their own story, fill the (intentional) gaps with their own imagination. And while the direction seems to drift through the different narrative layers at ease and adds an atmosphere of unease to the proceedings, grounded performances by all involved make this one work rather beautifully.” Search My Trash

“For a while, we’re not sure if the supernatural elements are anything more than arthouse symbolism, so this is barely a horror film. The minute you lay eyes on the cinematography, you know you’re dealing with a digital B movie. It’s flawed and long-winded, but the emo in you probably needs to see this.” Tales of Terror

” …it held my attention nicely. And the final act does deliver scares. It’s not elevated horror either. I would actually refer to it as a supernatural film than a horror film. For much of the time, the ghosts are a plot element, but not a source of scares. It’s a more subtle and complex approach than most ghost stories take. It will, however, reward those who appreciate that kind of storytelling.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Ava Psoras … Clara
Alexa Mechling … Cassandra
Betsy Lynn George … Emily / Beatrice
MaLynda Parker … Aunt Estelle
Mary Sack … Cecelia
Carley Ward … Anna
Joe Fishel … Victor
Jace Armentrout … Jason
Ivana Kingston … Heather
John-Patrick Driscoll … Barney
Dana Langshaw … Doctor Vicki
Grace Langshaw … Doctor Vicki
J.P. Edwards … Calvin Sherwood
Brian Ceponis … Albert
Aubrey Hileman … Young Beatrice

Filming locations:

Pennsylvania

Technical details:

84 minute
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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