Writer: Richard Cranor, Hugh Berry (Screenplay) Richard Cranor (Story)
Starring: Richard Cranor, Julian Gavilanes, Russell Hodgkinson, Svetlana Souutirina, Dylan Thome, Tyler Trerise, Shelby Truax, Kiki Yeung
Plot: Hikers find a secret grove of extra-terrestrial marijuana and must fight for their lives when they anger the other-worldly forces protecting the plants.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: High-Fi Surprisingly Good
Story: Star Leaf starts by taking us to Hindi Kush Mountain Range, Afghanistan where we meet two snipers one of which is Hunter (Gavilanes) and Tim (Trerise) who witness two Taliban soldiers kill a woman and plant a bomb on her child before doing the right thing by taking out the soldiers.
Move forward two years and Hunter is back in the states, he is with his best friend Tim (Trerise) who has changed becoming worldlier and gives Hunter a chance to meet his new girlfriend Martha (Truax). The friends are going for a trip into the mountains and on route they have to collect a map to collect premium drugs from Seth Guardrail Slaughter (Hodgkinson). The friends have the legendary map to the Star Leaf and have to follow the instruction to the weed with no cell phones or GPS just old school map.
As the journey continues we learn that Hunter isn’t interested in the drugs just the adventure with his friend but both Tim and Martha enjoy the drugs too much. We see strange tree formation unlike anything the friends have seen before. Sadly Hunter falls for the simplest amount of peer pressure and the three friends end up having a drug filled fantasies but after Martha and Tim break the rules the three have to rely on all of Hunter’s training to survive the situation but just what is real?
Star Leaf tackles one of my pet hates in horror just having drugs but I will say it looks at everything in a good way, many films use the drug trips in a way that can go very violent but this makes the start overly colourful to symbolise that the drugs are special. We do see a darker side of the effects which does lead to all the horror elements and much like the movie ‘Shrooms’ we are left wondering just what is actually real. The story really does keep you guessing from the moment the friends arrive at the Star Leaf and you really don’t know what will happen next right up to the final scene. (7/10)
Russell Hodgkinson: Seth Guardrail Slaughter is the hippie like drug dealer who gives out the instructions to finding Star Leaf with the map. Russell only has a couple of scenes but brings his star power to the film with those scenes. (7/10)
Julian Gavilanes: James Hunter is the soldier who gets dragged on the drug filled adventure by his best friend where his past starts to come back and haunt him. Julian does well in the role which does become the leading role dealing with the PTSD. (7/10)
Tyler Trerise: Tim is Hunter’s best friend who wants to find the perfect high which leads him in search of the Star Leaf, he has changed since Hunter last saw him, which confuses Hunter but he accepts that he is his own man. Tyler does a solid job in the role but makes plenty of horror errors. (6/10)
Shelby Truax: Martha is the girlfriend of Tim who has never met Hunter, she has an unhealthy love for Twilight where she thinks the friends are going on a road trip to tour the Bella conventions. Shelby does a solid job in her debut acting role. (6/10)
Support Cast: Star Leaf only has one more major supporting character and that is the Ranger who keeps turning up to help guide Hunter through the situation he finds himself in.
Director Review: Richard Cranor – Richard does a good job writing, directing and starring (as the Ranger) in this film that will keep you guessing from start to finish. (7/10)
Horror: Star Leaf uses the side effects of drug usage to create all the horror elements in the film. (7/10)
Settings: Star Leaf puts our characters in the middle of nowhere making the idea of an easy escape difficult. (9/10)
Special Effects: Star Leaf has the low budget effects which all work out very well for the film but smart editing doesn’t show the weakness people may see in the effects. (/10)
Suggestion: Star Leaf is one for the horror fans to watch, it will start slightly slow but once the friends get high the story never lets up. (Horror Fans Watch)
Best Part: The final moments.
Worst Part: Too much Twilight talk.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: There is one in the early part.
Similar Too: Shrooms
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes
Tagline: Some Highs Are Out Of This World
Overall: Star Leaf has scares but not jumps and a final act that will leave you shocked.