Film Review - 30 Miles from Nowhere

Photo by AJ Umlauf

>> February is Women in Horror month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than checking out some of the latest installments to the horror genre that are directed by women! This genre has welcomed female filmmakers with open arms, allowing these creatives to delve into its traditions, or subvert them and ultimately evolve the genre. Horror has a low-brow reputation; especially from the posh cinephiles that love to gate-keep over films “you’ve probably never heard of”, and from The Academy. It’s unfortunate, but one can only hope that their influence isn’t that large. Many horror films allow for complex characters with wit and realistic sentiment, and they allow for some piercingly tangible performances, i.e. Toni Collette in Hereditary (I mean, come on Academy!). Yet, I digress—and to all those who are unprejudiced towards horror films, let me tell you about 30 Miles from Nowhere.

Directed by Caitlin Koller, 30 Miles from Nowhere follows a group of friends that come together after the passing of a college pal. They gather in a cabin they used to regularly visit in their collegial days, but when a storm rolls in and traps them in the woods tensions rise. The friends are ultimately forced to make the decision to kill or be killed. Produced by Film Camp, 30 Miles from Nowhere is set to release on DVD/Digital Release on March 5th.

Photo provided by 4Digital Media

30 Miles From Nowhere sports a nonintrusive yet sophisticated visual style that allows its script to sing. It avoids the dreaded shot-reverse shot slump that many small indie films quickly fall victim to, and has some intriguing camera work. The film’s score is a bit expected and doesn’t add much to film besides emphasizing the scares, and at times the score plays to the quirky tone of the film but doesn’t fully commit. Majority of the scares in this film are unique and well fitting. However, the occasional jump scare is sprinkled throughout, which feel out of place and at times unnecessary.

30 Miles From Nowhere is impressively written. It’s very dialogue heavy for a “cabin in the woods” type of flick, but it works. It’s offbeat, witty, and completely entertaining. The characters are well established and even play off horror tropes, yet they retain a level of unpredictability that plays strongly to the film’s final moments. A lot can go wrong when making a film with lots of overlapping dialogue. Yet, 30 Miles From Nowhere makes it look easy. It’s directed, acted, and composed with a level of authenticity that’s completely believable, and it’s impressive.

This film is quite the little gem—it’s fun, thrilling, and has quite the pay off at the end. In 2019, I hope everyone makes an effort to watch more horror films. It’s a genre that’s constantly evolving that fosters diverse independent filmmakers, and if you think that’s “low-brow”, then honey get over yourself. 7/10 <<