Body at Brighton Rock Review - Heightened Suspense Drives This Survival Story

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Body at Brighton Rock, from Magnolia Pictures, presents a heightened suspense survival story of an unequipped Park Ranger who, after wondering off trail, stumbles onto a mauled body and must last the night in the wilderness alone.

Written and directed by Roxanne Benjamin, Body at Brighton Rock stars Karina Fontes, Casey Adams, Emily Althaus, Miranda Bailey, Martin Spanjers, Matt Peters, Susan Burke, John Getz and Brodie Reed.

Body at Brighton Rock begins with a very late Park Ranger Wendy, played by Karina Fontes, running to make the morning safety meeting before the team is dismissed to assignments. On this day, and apparently as we find out, she is frequently late.


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Her friend, Maya, played by Emily Althaus, and Craig, Brodie Reed, tried to explain to Wendy that she just isn’t equipped to work the back trails. Besides missing the meeting, where safety points on everything from weather to winter feeding habits is discussed, she has an aversion to bugs and things.

As they try to convince her she is more the indoor type she decides to just switch and fortunately Maya hands her the outdoor backpack that is assigned. So, heading out we know she has supplies, even if she doesn’t check them before she leaves.

Soon she is switching out signs throughout the back trails, prepare for frostbite, fire safety, bear sightings safety, all the while she is switching the signs she is plugged in and be-bopping along without concern for the trail or signs.


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After some time of walking she can’t find any familiar landmarks and with her cell phone battery nearly dead she climbs a ridge to try to get her bearings. Snapping a selfie, so close to the edge that you’re sure she will be history, she sends it.

Getting a reply, she realizes just from the ridge Maya and Craig can tell she is no where near Brighton Ridge, and she lost her map, so she has no idea what to say. And when they send a second text asking her who the guy in the background is, she turns and nearly falls off the side of the mountain. Lying at the bottom, mangled and bloody, a body.

As if that weren’t enough. Soon she is on the emergency walkie-talkie and is being told to secure the area and as she is technically lost, they will be sending out the search and rescue which is six hours away and can’t leave until morning. So, she is told, is best to secure the body and dress warmly.

Talking to emergency support she is explaining she is not equipped to be out here all night, and she looks at the body and a stranger, played by Casey Adams, approaches the body and stunned she explains there is another person and she slips, and the phone, her lifeline, slips away crashing against the rocks.


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Fear is playing tricks on her mind, as the sun sets, and the sounds of darkness surround her and with it every creepy, crawling, possibility hiding in the bushes is leering, staring, taunting. Soon she is seeing intakes of breath against the handkerchief covering the mauled face. The camera pulls back, the needle in the haystack shot, and we see even with her small fire, how vast the park is, and impossible rescue appears.

Body at Brighton Rock a suspenseful survival story, along the lines of Back Country, builds with each passing minute, every whisper of the wind, every rustle of leaves, every snap of a tree branch and the expectation of any number of horrors generates.

The lead, Karina Fontes captures the very essence of her role, and as she mindlessly meanders buds plugged in her head in her tunes. I could feel my frustration grow with her foolish behavior irresponsible and senseless actions. I was shouting at the scenes, “don’t wander off trail, that’s how people die” and of course, what type of movie would it be if she didn’t.


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The director, Roxanne Benjamin creates a scenario which plays on the mind of the viewer. We are in the woods, and if your tolerance for suspense is low, as the minutes pass, its lions, tigers and bears oh my!

The build-up which unlike usual survival stories of this nature, proceeds with few middle pop ups, during the night hours, the delusions come in the form of her dreams and of course delivers a series of machine gun style, rat-a-tat-tat, pop ups at the end.

Body at Brighton Rock opens this week, Friday April 26, 2019. See it.

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