Written & Directed by Amy Seimetz
Starring: AJ Bowen, Kate Lyn Sheil, and Kentucker Audley
A couple takes a tense and mysterious road trip through the desolate yet hauntingly beautiful landscape of central Florida.
This film was recommended by a friend; I literally knew nothing about it going in. The odd poster for the film is a very accurate representation of Sun Don’t Shine’s dreamy, floaty nature. Two lovers are on the lam in the deepest parts of southern Florida. You get a general idea why they’re on the run, but the film is purposely enigmatic, not a quality most film goers will appreciate. A splash of blood, a weapon, something less than desirable in the beat up sedan’s trunk; these things imply a certain darkness to the couple and the mysteriously unfolding plot. This film doesn’t even count as a slow burn, but more of an exercise in faith and patience.
Writer/director, Amy Seimetz, definitely knew where she wanted this to go, and she did an amazing job. The two lovers, portrayed by Audley and Sheil, were pivotal to the success. These two actors are perfect in their roles, presenting the impending paranoia and obsession with impeccable skill. Despite the heart Seimetz poured into this powerhouse, it couldn’t work without two dynamic actors. They performed so well that it made me uncomfortable. Plagued with doubt, indecision, guilt, and a gnawing paranoia, every mundane detail the duo experience serves to intrigue the viewer even more. There were moments that I was oblivious to everything around me as my brain raced to make sense of it.
While this falls into a fairly obvious horror tale, there are so many elements that make up the sum of its parts. Filmed dreamily through floaty sequences, the visual appeal of the film is a strong suite. If you can endure the slow reveal, you might enjoy this. It isn’t for everyone and I struggled briefly with it. Sun Don’t Shine runs more like an idea or an image than an actual plot, and that’s not something I care to deal with in horror. All things considered, fans of cinema should give this the 80 minutes it deserves. The original score by Ben Lovett, and cinematography by Jay Keitel elevate this to a strange and ethereal level.