Found Footage films have evolved over the past 5 years or so. More often than not, the nausea-inducing shaky cam videos that exist “just because” are replaced with video cameras that actually fit the narrative of the story. Situations that try to answer the question “why the hell are these people recording?” are now being crafted more and more often. Lilin’s Brood addresses this question fairly well. It follows a team of individuals that works for an organization called W.H.I.S.T.L.E. It stands for something, but it’s not all that important or even relevant. In fact, the organization in which our protagonists work for could be omitted completely, and I feel as if the story would be a bit more relatable as a result. But I digress.

The group is performing research on a string of men that appear to be vanishing into thin air, and it may or may not be related to an organ trafficking ring of some sort. Yeah, it’s a bit “out there”, but it gets deeper. There comes a time when things take a turn into the supernatural, and believe it or not, that’s when it all begins to make more sense. Relatively speaking, of course. This very much feels like two different stories blended into one – but it works, and that’s impressive considering the limited experience of writing/directing duo P.W. Simon and Artii Smith. The same can be said for (most of) the equally inexperienced cast. Martin Sensmeier (Wolf), Brent King (Danny), and James Wellington (Cabal) all feel natural and comfortable during their time on screen while others feel a little more reserved. Even so, there is no truly “bad” acting to be found here, and that’s one hell of an accomplishment when dealing with a group as green as this one. My biggest gripe lies within the prolonged ending. The audience knows how this thing is going to end by the time we get there, so let it happen, and let it happen with impact. There’s no need to spend 10 minutes running around for the sake of having a longer film. That’s where the wind leaves the sails, and that’s a shame after working so hard to build suspense.

Is Lilin’s Brood a scary film? No (although there is one super effective jump scare), but it IS an interesting watch. I never felt as if things were dragging or found myself checking the time on my phone. I was engaged. This is mostly due to the aforementioned supernatural twist and some curiously disturbing imagery. I’m not sure I expected to see a big winking sphincter during this one, but hey – gotta love a good surprise.

There’s no official word on a release date for Lilin’s Brood, but I recommend seeking it out once it becomes available. I’d even go so far as to say it deserves a 2nd watch if you want a better grasp on what the hell is going on. I’m still not sure I completely comprehend it, but I like that sort of thing. Lilin’s Brood is a genuinely compelling mystery shrouded in the supernatural, and I expect Simon and Smith to do some impressive things in the future if they stay within the genre.

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