A documentary film maker, Camilla, is making a film about psychics – focusing on their abilities to solve criminal mysteries using their ‘vision’. When one of the psychics finds clues on an unsolved crime comitted twenty years earlier , Camilla becomes obsessed with the case and starts to investigate it. One day something goes wrong and evil forces are brought back to life
Shot in a combination found footage/documentary style, The Psychics merges some interesting, charming characters with a great script and a dark story. The film stars Kirsti Lovas, Frank Thomas Holen Andersen, Oddrun Valestrand and Hannah Karine Giske and was written and directed by Tomas Sem Løkke-Sørensen. Shot in Norway, The Psychics is a multi-award winning indie flick that has walked away with a BEST FEATURE CRIME FILM and an AWARD OF MERIT from The Indiefest Film Awards and The Crime Story Film Festival respectively. The film centres around Camilla (Kirsti Lovas), a journalist investigating the authenticity of psychics in criminal investigations who then has her own past unburied in the process, bringing back painful memories and potentially opening new doorways.
Although I’m a huge horror fan, I’m also a pretty huge sceptic. “Based on a true story” when you have possessed dolls and evil nuns is a laughable concept to me. Psychics aren’t real, the Warrens were hacks, and cryptozoologists need their drinking water tested. I watch horror to enjoy fantasy and I was worried that this film may turn out to be some kind of mockumentary that was going to rub me the wrong way. It didn’t. The Psychics is a clever, well-crafted indie film that uses its cast and setting to play out a well-spun tale of evil.
But a tale it is indeed. This is far from your usual action-packed, face-paced, jump-scare horror flick—it is more a tale of loss, grief and the unknown. It is slower than a slow burn and contains documentary-like dialogue; building the story through characters, present and past events, and a creeping build of supernatural elements. There is a lot of nature and wilderness footage, making it visually pleasing if that’s your thing, but also making the film a lot less threatening.
Where The Psychics differs from a lot of modern horror found footage films is the fact it tries—first and foremost—to present itself as a film (or a documentary) before it even remotely tries to tie in the horror elements. There are hints of course: warnings from the characters and such; indistinct visual clues; odd sounds or camera effects…but these are all subtle—part of build-up as we explore the mystery. It’s only at about the halfway mark that the nature of the film shifts, becoming something that horror watchers are a little more used to. There is a culmination of unique elements—a different way of telling a story—that managed to hold my interest and keep me invested. I needed to know how it ended.
Now, I like weird and different. I like the arty and the obscure. This isn’t going to float everyone’s boat and if you hate subtitles (the film is in Norwegian), monologues, and slow burns then you are going to be nought but frustrated. On the other hand, if you like a window into a foreign culture, a different viewing experience, and very unique take on abductions, then you would be mad to give this a miss.
I found that the film struggled with its runtime though. Spanning roughly 70 minutes, there was a lot that seemed superfluous; added for the sake of trying to reach that 80-100 minute average over adding context or content. With that content cut, The Psychics would end up sitting somewhere between a feature-length film that was way too short and a short film that was way too long. It would have best fit into an episodic show like Black Mirror or Tales From the Crypt where you have that perfect 50/60 minute episode but that’s obviously not always an option, especially for up and coming filmmakers.
Overall, The Psychics is a solid indie film that deserves some love. Not at all what I was expecting but that is often a plus. It is far from perfect but neither are you. I look forward to seeing where Løkke-Sørensen goes from here. The movie is available worldwide via distributor MY Spotlight Independent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, PovHorror, Avail TV, HODTV, BingeHorror (Reel Nightmare Films) and DVD/BluRay. For further purchase information go to the menu on this site or visit the movie’s Facebook page. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and poster below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.