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Review: The Outwaters – “A found-footage freak-out that is a disturbing descent into cosmic horror hell”

Written and directed by Robbie Banfitch (White Light), the new found-footage horror film The Outwaters stars Banfitch himself alongside Scott Schamell, Leslie Ann Banfitch and Michelle May, and is released theatrically on the 7th of April and digitally on the 8th of May.

In August 2017 Robbie (Banfitch) set off into the beautiful but barren Mojave desert to make a music video with three friends and was never heard from again. The Outwaters collects together the footage from Robbie’s since-recovered memory cards in an attempt to piece together just what became of the group.

The Outwaters is elevated, intelligent, experimental, found-footage horror. The film does things differently narratively, eschewing a traditional three-act structure to basically be a film of two halves. The entire first half sets up the characters and builds up a near-unbearable dread, and then the whole second half deals with the fallout following a horrific incident.

The cast of characters are an instantly easy-going and likeable bunch, wanting to make a cool music video but totally down to have fun at the same time. That we spend more time falling for them makes what happens all the more horrific, but this first section is not just about character development.

Banfitch is constantly dropping in subtle hints that all is not well, from environmental shenanigans to odd audio distortions and ‘did-I-just-hear-that’ noises in the music on the radio, to a booming noise out in the desert to unsettling animal behaviours. It all adds up to this horrible nagging feeling. A worry in the back of your mind and a nausea in the back of your throat. Something is not just wrong. Something is COMING.

The second half of The Outwaters may lose a lot of people as it is so untraditional and, although I won’t spoil anything, it is completely crazy, utterly unique, totally terrifying and extremely upsetting. Think Tremors x Skinamarink.

Unlike any other found footage horror film before, with The Outwaters Robbie Banfitch has created a film you will feel in the pit of your stomach, a twisted and rad journey into deranged darkness that, while not for everyone, will linger long in the recesses of the minds of those who go along for the ride.

Skip to the end:
A found-footage freak-out that is a disturbing descent into cosmic horror hell, The Outwaters is an unforgettable experience for horror fans willing to go someplace different.

The Outwaters is in cinemas on the 7th of April and on digital from the 8th of May.

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