10th Sep2014

‘Dawn of the Crescent Moon’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Barry Corbin, Brooke Coleman, Kurt Cole, Johnny Walter, Shiree Nelson, Lauren Leal, Edward Hong, Brandon Smith, Alan Pietruszewski, Tracey Birdsall, Damon Pampolina | Written by Kirk Loudon, Kevin B. Coleman | Directed by Kirk Loudon


Five college students travel to a small Texas town to research the Legend of Blood Lake, an obscure folktale forged by events surrounding the massacre of a Comanche village by a company of Texas Rangers in the 1800s. Reports of people having disappeared from the area have mounted over the years, giving rise to incredible tales of evil spirits who protect a sacred cache of gold that lies beneath the surface of the lake. A crusty old bartender cautions the students to mind their own business and go back home, but they are approached by a beautiful young woman who offers to take them to the lake. It’s not long before they begin to realize that the legend is much more than local folklore when they come face-to-face with their own pasts and the legend itself.

Dawn of the Crescent Moon is definitely a ghost story. This isn’t a tale of jump scares and horrors to make your skin crawl as it opts for more of a winding tale of mysticism and occult. The characters each have to face their own pasts in their search for the truth of the lake, so expect a lot of ‘back story’ talk before you can get into the real meat of the film. I did find the film quite entertaining though and it did have the vibe of a story to be told around the camp fire… which is probably because a lot of the story takes place around a camp fire. It definitely has a sort of creepy, ‘what’s happening?’ theme all the way through and it keeps you wondering as the dark things in Blood Lake claim victim after victim.

Now onto the complaining bit. If there is one thing that really got me with this film, it was the stereotypes. We have all seen the films with the ‘jock’ type who is obsessed with sex, the ‘dumb blonde’ who acts as eye candy for the guys, the ‘super smart asian’ with his gadgets and electronics, the ‘heroic leader’ who makes all the decisions and sorts out the arguments and the ‘weird goth girl’ who can see ghosts and is strange. These are all set in stone character archetypes and I just described the complete set of main characters in Dawn of the Crescent Moon. The story is fine, and it does let them progress a little bit away from their stereotypes but they are definitely stuck in them for the majority and it does feel like the film lacks in creativity a bit.

Also there is a weird thing about spirits of Native Americans sort of represented as white people which to me was a little uncomfortable, but I can’t get too much into that without spoiling the story. So there you go.Dawn of the Crescent Moon is an interesting tale, if a little unimaginative and mildly racist, which would definitely fit the bill if you are looking for a good ghost story to keep you going for a few hours.


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