15th Jun2015

‘Star Leaf’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Richard Cranor, Julian Gavilanes, Russell Hodgkinson, Svetlana Soutirina, Dylan Thome, Tyler Trerise, Shelby Truax, Kiki Yeung | Written by Richard Cranor, Hugh Berry | Directed by Richard Cranor


Star Leaf is a science fiction thriller about three friends who find a forest of extra-terrestrial marijuana hidden deep in the Olympic Mountains. The adventure begins when Tim (Trerise) introduces his girlfriend Martha (Shelby Truax) and his Afghanistan war buddy James (Gavilanes) to the legendary Star Leaf, anticipating an out-of-this-world high and the chance to cure James’s PTSD. Things start to get strange when a forest ranger (Cranor) mysteriously shows up at their late-night campfire with tales of alien visitors and odd animal behaviour in the forest. And when Tim and Martha break the Star Leaf “code of conduct,” the trio must fight for their lives against forces from another world.

You ever watched a film and then, as the credits stared rolling, just sat back and thought, ‘What on earth did I just watch?’ Well, Star Leaf is one of those films – filled to the brim with the main characters getting high and being subsequently chased and attacked by things which may or may not be their imagination. If you’re anything like me, you will get incredibly lost just trying to figure out what is going on. I mean, you could argue that that is the point: they are high and confused, and therefore so should we as they are eaten by trees and chased by aliens.

To be fair, Star Leaf does begin and end quite strongly (bad CGI space opening credits put aside). It starts with a dark scene exploring war horrors before jumping into a more light-hearted, and at points quite funny, plot about the main characters going on holiday. The ending mirrors this by being deep and meaningful and light hearted again and provides a very satisfying conclusion to the tale. It’s just the insane mind boggling middle where I had no idea what was going on. There is an almost structured chaos to it, but if you asked me to tell you what was happening, I would probably just start to froth at the mouth before curling up in the foetal position on the floor and crying uncontrollably.

That being said, I would never go as far as saying that Star Leaf wasn’t an entertaining film. The idea being explored is both silly and unexpectedly touching. If you like your films with a bit of a ‘WTF’ side to them, then check it out. You will come out on the other side with at least an interesting story to tell at parties.

Star Leaf is available to order from the official website.


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