Title – Living Space (2018)
Director – Steven Spiel (feature debut)
Cast – Georgia Chara, Leigh Scully, Andy McPhee
Plot – Setting off into the heartland of Germany, young couple Ashley (Chara) and Brad (Scully) find themselves in a fight for survival after entering into the house of a German SS Officer (McPhee).
“His house. Your nightmare”
Review by Eddie on 05/03/2018
A home grown psychological horror with mood and atmosphere to spare, debut feature film director Steven Spiel has delivered one of the more unique and unpredictable local offerings in some time.
Based around the old Nazi regime sentiment of Lebensraum (Living Space), being the ideological principle of Nazism that provided justification for the German territorial expansion into East-Central Europe, Spiel’s film is not cut from the gore-hound corner of the horror genre (even though there is some standout gore sequences thrown in for good measure) as it instead focuses on creating an ominous and impending sense of dread as college sweethearts Brad and Ashley experience a German road trip they’d rather forget.
Living Space sees its central couple looking to get the most out of their time in Germany and Georgia Chara’s Ashley and Leigh Scully’s Brad make for a solid narrative foundation as things start to take a turn for the worse when their hire car breaks down and the enter into a house that proves anything but welcoming.
From a seemingly simple set-up, Spiel takes his story to some frightening and often unseen pathways as our couple get drawn into some nightmarish like Nazi-filled Groundhog Day, culminating in some neatly attuned twists and turns that keep the viewers guessing right until the end.
It’s an impressive low-budget effort that suggests Spiel is a filmmaker with some genuinely unique visions and an abundance of ideas and while not everything within Living Space feels like smooth sailing, Spiel’s ability to conjure up a high number of chills and thrills within the films brisk 80 minute runtime is a noteworthy feat, while Living Space’s basing around real life horrors and beliefs gives it a sense of meaning that is often not to be found in similar such affairs.
Final Say –
A fresh and original horror trip that’s likely to appeal to both local and international horror fans, Living Space is a psychological horror with a difference and while there are prevalent and to be expected drawbacks of such an independent offering, Spiel’s Nazi-filled treat will crawl under your skin and stay there, making Living Space a highly impressive debut offering from the young director.
3 car radios out of 5
Living Space has its world premiere on March 10th at Event Cinema George Street as part of the Monster Fest Traveling Road Show.
Read more about Living Space HERE