Marla Singer (Maya Schenk) in her mid 20’s is coming back to her parents’ house after being away for some time, and she has plans to sell the house. And of course, everything goes into an entirely different direction.
Marla decides to have some friends come over for a party, and it all ends up with her taking some hallucinogenic pills (Pentagol), which kickstart the nightmare no one has expected.
Marla’s reality starts to mix with her dreams, as her nightmares literally come alive to haunt her, as she slowly starts to loose the grip of everything that is happening around her.
“Beyond the Bridge” is a full-feature film debut of Daniel P. Schenk, who starts things off with a really cool introductory scene, as we follow Marla on her trip home and the following hellride.
And don’t blame yourself for falling in love with Maya Schenk after all the close-ups in the film – a great example of how positively infectious an actress can be, without baring it all. Schenk, by the way, is a music producer/DJ in London, but it seems like she’s got some acting chops as well. Also, some of the music in the film is hers.
“Beyond the Bridge” also does a great job of building the suspense level early in the film, but that’s only one side of the coin…
One of the biggest flaws that the film is just throwing right at you is the length – 1 hour 48 minutes is just too much for this kind of film. It could’ve easily been 15-20 minutes shorter, without any significant loss of story or flow.
The length here becomes even more painful as we first feel the increasing suspense, awaiting for the outcome – which never comes, just dragging and dragging, as the minutes go by.
The story wisely avoids anything that could reveal the low-budget nature of the film – which makes the painful length of the film even more surprising. Why not use these extra 15-20 minutes for the remaining of the material?
One important message that “Beyond the Bridge” successfully delivers is the potential. Yes, it is possible to make a watchable film on a shoe-string budget with a story that has been done before, in one way or another. Considering the lack of director’s experience and small budget, the film manages to capture you, yet never quite succeeds in holding on to you up to the last minute.
“Beyond the Bridge” should be a learning stage for Daniel P. Schenk (to gain experience and make better films), a business card for Maya Schenk (she has a lot of potential as a leading lady) and also a message to producers, who are always on watch for the “next big thing”.
BZFILM SCALE: 4/10
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