February 9, 2014

Webisode Review: Tales of Light and Dark - "Geokilling"

Tales of Light and Dark is a new web series created by writer/director Glen Baisley. The series has been moving along well with a series of nicely constructed multi-part arcs. All of it has been leading up this final episode of the season, a two parter that grows from what has gone before and definitely feels a bit more ambitious in execution. It has been quite entertaining watching the series grow, getting more and more ambitious with its multi-part episodes. This is good as they are quick watches and with multiple parts, you can have bigger stories. If you happen to run into Mr. Baisley out somewhere shooting or at an event like the Hudson Horror Show, be sure to say hi and have a chat about low-budget film making or even just movies in general!

This season ending two-part episode is called “Geokilling” and it tells a tale that falls squarely in the slasher genre. So, while it feels open and more expansive in scope than prior episodes, it has that familiar feel that allows for some shortcuts in getting right to the heart of things. I think it is this genre-familiarity that allowed me to enjoy this one more than the rest. While, I did enjoy “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” for its controversial mind games and “Open Call” with its character study element, it is the slasher aspect of this one that drew me in. It contains elements of those other two episodes, and even calls back to them directly, making this an interesting outing that will leave you thinking about it well after it is over.

The story follows a few friends who get an anonymous invitation to a geocaching event. Now, I am not familiar with geocaching, although I have heard of it. As it is explained in the episode, it is essentially a scavenger hunt. Anyway, the group of friends arrive at the location, a burned our factory and its surrounding property play host to our group's expedition. They are not exactly all friends, but they get along well enough, but have enough differences to keep a little tension among them.

They move through the overgrown property, bickering and making good time. All is going well until they reach their ultimate destination. It is there that secrets of certain members of the group are revealed and we get closer to discovering why it was that these particular people were invited to go on this hunt.

It is after this reveal that we get into the most familiar slasher elements. Our group gets split up and whittled down, one by one. It looks a little like they are being hunted by Slipknot. I am fine with this, it is fun character design.

I dare not give away all the details, you should make sure you watch them. This is a fun pair of episodes and while there are moments where the dialogue foes not exactly ring true, it still works and definitely entertains. It would hep to be familiar with the prior episodes, but not exactly a requirement.

“Geokilling” is a good two part episode that expands the scope and feels more active compared to prior episodes, while still retaining its intelligence and ability to hold your interest. The acting is decent, nothing to write home about, but still nothing to really complain about. They have good chemistry and are certainly making the effort. Direction is solid, the story is kept moving and it is rarely dull.

Overall, this is a solid short, it relies on genre familiarity to keep things rolling, and it works. It looks good with some great location shooting. It is certainly low budget, but Glen Baisley and his team make the most of what they have and deliver a solid slasher tale that is enjoyable and worth supporting.

This episode stars: Sabrina Coleman, Jaime Colins, Michael Knowles, Joseph Policastro and Haley Rice,Featuring Mike Lane (Fairview Falls, The Blood Shed and Gallery of Fear)

Part one arrives 2/13/14 and the conclusion arrives 2/20/14. Visit the official Tales of Light and Dark page to see this episode as well as the earlier webisodes and other preview clips.

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