Courtesy Gravitas Ventures

In Old Strangers, sometimes friends from the past are best left there. Longtime pals Michael (Ted Evans), Sarah (Madeleine Humphries), and Danny (Colton Eschief Mastro) escape their LA coronavirus lockdown doldrums and reunite for a remote vacation weekend in Big Bear, California. When they encounter a series of mysterious objects in the woods, Danny’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic as Michael and Sarah start to fear for their safety.

Old Strangers doesn’t suffer from the typical genre problem of an interesting premise failing to live up to its potential due to poor execution, but only because there doesn’t seem to be much thought given to the premise in the first place. Written and directed by indie filmmaker Nick Gregorio, the sci-fi/horror flick is blessedly concise at a tidy 62 minutes, yet somehow manages to feel about 40 minutes too long. There’s not much to recommend here. Narratively, the film is poorly plotted overall, managing to toss in a couple of unresolved side plots to build the slightest amount of background for the characters. Thematically, there isn’t an interesting thought experiment here about the nature of humanity or even any sustained mystery about the evil our characters face. A couple of bad things just sort of happen to our characters, we’re explained what causes those things, and that’s pretty much that. The performances and line deliveries are jolting and overwrought, and the editing and cinematography add little suspense to the unoriginal narrative.

The best that can be said for this film is that hopefully some hardworking crew members got paid a decent day rate to make it. 62 min.

Available on VOD.