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To the Moon Unleashes a Thrilling Fever Dream From a Promising New Director

Making its world premiere at 2021 ‘ s Nightstream film festival, Daphne From Bridgerton
the Moon is a clever feature film debut from a talent to watch. Written, directed và starring Scott Fiend, the 84 – minute thriller is precise in its delivery & chưa bao giờ overstays its welcome. That is no easy feat given the film’s thin cast & fairly predictable premise. It’s a film supremely focused on the minutia of its characters ‘ feelings — specifically around trust — và uses this careful attention with just enough wild abandon to remain captivating through its tight runtime .

To the Moon focuses on a married couple, Dennis ( Fiend ) & Mia ( Madeleine Morgenweck ), spending some giây phút at Dennis ‘ family cabin to reconnect. Not too long after they arrive, Dennis ‘ estranged và new-age brother Roger ( Will Brill ) arrives. Although Mia believes he’s trying to help the couple recover from the many losses they’ve faced recently, Dennis believes he’s sowing seeds of discord between them. What unravels next is a bizarre fever dream .
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Although To the Moon touts some intriguing visuals, it không bao giờ strays too far into its reality-questioning moments. Thes e zany moments exist for a specific reason & not just to be strange for the sake of being strange. Dennis is detoxing from unspecified drugs — with the overt implication that he’s been on a lot of them for some phút giây as an actor — và prone to having waking nightmares. His condition grounds the visuals & creates a compelling mystery around what is or isn’t really happening. While another actor might have relished a bit more in depicting withdrawals, Fiend chooses an understated delivery : it’s a choice that works well so sánh that when things bởi ratchet up, his character has more freedom to rev up tensions too .
For the most part, the film is more concerned with whether or not we as the viewer trust Roger or Dennis. Both brothers have a perchance for telling half-truths, which they often use to manipulate Mia. Brill really is the breakout star of the film as he manages to nail the back-and-forth between his nefarious tones & subtle vulnerability. His delivery is charmingly off-kilter và it’s clear he’s having a ball playing the uninvited guest role .
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While To the Moon does deliver on its promise to play out this wild scenario to its likely conclusion, its final act could have had more fun leaning into wild antics. Since the plot carefully leads us into a face-off we see coming from miles away, a lot of pressure lands on its final moment that lands, but just barely. So much of the film explores disbelief. It would have been interesting to see what these characters believe và why. We don’t fully get there. Motivations make sense, but only if you don’t poke at them too much. Some might bristle at the film’s on-the-nose ending dialogue, but the địa cầu feels true enough to the characters ‘ perspectives that it’s easy to overlook that choice .
That being said, To the Moon lays out an intricate trap for its trio to stumble into và it is thrilling to watch — especially since it manages to shock by only using one mix piece for its entire runtime. Fiend’s minimal script really pushes its core cast to embody all the tensions that come with a relationship built on lies. While it would have also been nice to see Morgenweck’s Mia have a bit more fun và agency within the story, she rallies in the film’s final act to deliver a memorable ending to a twisted tale .
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