I love it when a film reaches right out at the start and grabs you tightly by the balls; David Moscow’s Desolation does just that. That firm grip eases somewhat as we’re introduced to motel-worker Katie (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) and her coworker/friend Debbie who are chatting it up about a cute actor guy staying at the hotel. The cute guy is Jay (Brock Kelly) who is apparently sort of a big deal in Hollywood and while Debbie is obviously the most interested, it’s Katie that Jay takes a liking to.
Katie and Jay start hanging out while he’s in town and we can tell that she’s somewhat reluctant to get too involved at first. Her psychiatrist provides absolutely no help in the situation and we begin to see that Katie may have some mental issues but hey, don’t we all? Katie subsequently decides to throw caution to the wind and go all the way with Jay (heh).
Before it’s time for Jay to head back to sunny LA, he asks her to come with him for a sort of mini-vacation to which she agrees. When they get to his apartment she immediately starts to notice some bizarre things: the building is oddly empty with the exception of a priest that resides upstairs (great work by veteran actor Raymond J. Barry), Jay’s apartment has no number on the door and the place gives off a general freaky vibe.
While they’re chilling at his luxury pad, they both start talking about their past suicide attempts and we see Katie swallowing down some pills leading us again to believe that she may be a bit unstable; which plays into the rest of the movie fantastically.
Jay then gets a call for an audition and lands the job but has to immediately fly out for a three-day shoot. While Katie is not happy but ready to scoot back home, Jay begs her to stay at his place and wait for him. After some prodding, she agrees to do it. Bad call for her as from there, the shit hits the proverbial fan for our darling Katie. Things start happening that makes us question what is actually happening to her and what she’s imagining…and she’s not too sure either.
Written by Craig Walendziak (Contracted 2) and directed by David Moscow (Big), some will call Desolation a “slow burn” but there’s more action here than your typical slow burn; this film is a roller-coaster ride of emotions that will keep you on the edge of your seat while peering at the screen through your fingers.
Excellent writing, solid performances and inspired direction from a first-time director all leads to Desolation being the first must-see horror film of 2018. I know that we’re way early in the game but don’t be surprised if you see Desolation on my list of “top horror films of the year” come December.
Desolation opens in New York City and Los Angeles on January 26th with a nationwide roll-out to follow.
Check out the trailer here:
Stay gory my friends.