[All images courtesy Dark Sky Films]
American history is full of enough blood, horror, and tragedy to fill countless horror movies. Writer-director David Eggers mined the dark history of Puritan New England for 2016’s The Witch. This year, Mohawk looks to the War of 1812 and Native American folklore for some homegrown Nightmare Fuel.
Mohawk‘s IMDb summary teases a bloodier (and sexier) update of Last of the Mohicans; “Late in the War of 1812, a young Mohawk woman and her two lovers battle a squad of American soldiers hell-bent on revenge.”
The official summary from Dark Sky films adds a bit more texture “After one of her tribe sets an American camp ablaze, a young Mohawk warrior finds herself pursued by a contingent of military renegades set on revenge. Fleeing deep into the woods they call home, Oak (Kaniehtiio Horn) and Calvin (Justin Rain), along with their British companion Joshua (Eamon Farren), must now fight back against the bloodthirsty Colonel Holt (Ezra Buzzington) and his soldiers – using every resource both real and supernatural that the winding forest can offer.”
Back in July of 2016 I wrote a short piece for SciFi4Me when Mohawk started production. I thought there were three factors making this movie one horror fans should keep an eye on.
First, the production companies involved, Dark Sky Films and Snowfort Productions, have created some of the more interesting and original recent genre releases, including Starry Eyes (2014) and We Are Still Here (2015).
Secondly, the writing and directing talent involved. Ted Geoghegan’s first feature writing/directing credit, We Are Still Here, combined location, story, and genre veterans like Barbara Crampton for a wintry (and terrifying) mediation of loss and grief. Mohawk’s co-writer, author Grady Hendrix, has written novels about the dangers lurking at your local home improvement big box store in Horrorstor (2014), demonic possession of high school teens (My Best Friends Exorcism, 2017), and the hidden history of 80-90’s horror paperbacks (Paperbacks From Hell, 2017). I had a chance to interview Hendrix about Paperbacks From Hell for SciFi4Me’s “Live from the Bunker”.
Finally, the movie’s historical and geographic setting. Mohawk visits territory previously seen in Sleepy Hollow and The Witch, but switches the focus from colonists and settlers to Native Americans as the new Untied States fights Great Britain in the War of 1812.
Mohawk comes to theaters and iTunes March 2nd, but select screenings (some attended by Geoghegan) are already happening. Check out the trailer, and see if there’s a screening near you.