Hex, a directorial debut from George Popov and Jonathan Russell whilst shows some merit for a mere £1000 budget struggles to deliver a punch.
Set in the English civil war, two soldiers surviving from the battle find themselves deep in the woods. After trying to best each other in a sword fight they realise there is another more sinister threat at large, a witch controlling the forest.
Straight out of the gate Hex is a slow burner, in every way possible pace is deliberately kept to a minimum and if that’s not to your taste you may decide to tune out early. Scenes are left to linger with little actually taking place on screen, dialogue is sparse happening only at key moments and most camera shots follow a slow profile.
I have to admit the cinematography alone far exceeds any expectation when the budget is taken into consideration, honestly I can’t fault the attention to detail, being a lover of the outdoors these woods are stunning, location has clearly been given a tremendous amount of thought and it shows.
For me, I genuinely struggled to invest in the threat, I didn’t feel any of the peril that the soldiers were being portrayed as being in and this was due to the lack of scenes containing atmosphere, I can appreciate the effectiveness of both sounds and music to compensate for visuals however at some point there has to be a payoff.
This to me highlights where the beauty of short-film making comes in to play, the concept is clearly there but without the content for a full runtime the aforementioned could have produced a well rounded compelling short piece. Unfortunately I didn’t feel Hex had the stamina for 90 minutes.
I can only really recommend Hex to fans of slowly paced indie films which tend to focus on the mystery and intrigue side of film, the period costumes are great and the locations are idyllic but its appeal is to quite a niche market, sadly one which I’m not in.