Director: Jaco Bouwer
Writer: Tertius Kapp (Screenplay)
Starring: Monique Rockman, Carel Nel, Alex van Dyk, Anthony Oseyemi
Plot: An injured forest ranger on a routine mission is saved by two off-the-grid survivalists. What is initially a welcome rescue grows more suspicious as the son and his renegade father reveal a cultish devotion to the forest.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Gaia starts when a forest ranger Gabi (Rockman) goes in search on land for her drone, while her partner ranger Winston (Oseyemi) gives her the time limit to search for it, when Gabi gets injured, she is rescued by two men Barend (Nel) and Stefan (van Dyk) who offer her safety.
The two men believe they are fighting against intruders within the forest, one that is supernatural in origin, one that will strike fear and create monster that will become deadly as they look to defend Gabi from the viral threat in the forest.
Thoughts on Gaia
Characters & Performances – Gabi is the forest ranger that has been working in the dangerous area for a while, knows certain dangers within the forest, she finds herself getting caught in the middle of a trap, helped by two estranged men who teach her about the dangers she isn’t prepared for in the forest. Gabi must learn quick, as the fight to survive is deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Monique Rockman does give us an exceptional performance in the leading role, going through the nightmares both dreaming and living ones. Barend and Stefan are the father and son living in the forest, fighting against a threat in the forest, teaching Gabi what the dangers are, while showing the dangers they might have seen created in their heads in the forest. Carel Nel and Alex van Dyk both does a great job, showing the two different generations of beliefs behind what is going on.
Story – The story here follows a forest ranger that finds herself injured and rescued by a couple of men who live in the forest, a forest they believe to be haunted by a creature that is looking to feed of the people who roam through the area, showing us how she must figure out how to survive the horrors she finds herself in. This is a horror that will play completely into the unknown for Gabi, not letting her or us know everything that is going on, only giving small bits of details through information from the men, or the visitors they get. It will have an eco-message, despite large parts of what we see feeling like something we have seen before, despite making you think about the bigger picture.
Themes – Gaia is a horror that will throw us into a world of an unknown threat in a forest, which once we see, you will easily have a comparison to one of the popular horror creations in a popular video game. The film will keep everything within the one location, the forest away from the world, showing the message of nature in the horror. The effects in this film are amazing, showing the transformation slowly happening to the victims.
GAIA IS RELEASED ON ALTITUDE.FILM AND OTHER DIGITAL PLATFORMS FROM 27 SEPTEMBER.
Final Thoughts – Gaia is an unsettling horror that shines on the special effects side of the horror.