“The Crisis,” an apocalyptic event, has devastated the Earth and left David (Tim Kaiser) to rely on the backwoods survival skills he learned from his childhood. Living in tent-bound isolation and losing his mind, with only flashbacks of the past to comfort him, Mary (Lulu Dahl) emerges from the woods. The isolation have left both socially maladjusted: he’s immediately suspicious of her and she of him. Together they must learn to work together to avoid “Those Who Walk In Darkness,” heard-but-unseen creatures that may be responsible for or were born out of “The Crisis” event.
While The Tent initially comes across as a thriller with horror overtones, this feature film debut by writer/director Kyle Couch is actually an intelligent, introspective drama made on a well-utlized budget and comes across as a low-budget inversion of the Frank Darabont-directed The Mist — only without the special effect bombast and thespian clutter of superfluous characters in over-the-top dramatic moments.
Michigan-native writer and director Kyle Couch has won awards for his previous shorts and documentaries that led up to this feature film. The work by award-winning cinematographer Robert Skates (with twenty-plus credits across various shorts and indie projects) is exquisite throughout.
Trekkies will recognize Detroit, Michigan, actor Tim Kaiser from his role as Admiral Gardner in the 2016 fan-web series Star Trek: Horizon. Reminding one of Bruce Dern, he’s amassed an impressive 50-plus credit resume across various shorts and web series in a short nine years after beginning his acting career at the age of 56. Kaiser’s co-star, Lulu Dahl, has also embarked on a newly-forged career across several short films, as well as a featured background role in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Both are excellent in their roles and bigger projects are on the horizon for both in mainstream television series and films.
The Tent is currently on the U.S festival circuit, where it’s won several sets of leaves, and seeking distribution on all of the usual PPV and VOD platforms. You can learn more at the film’s official website and Facebook page.
Disclaimer: We were sent a screener by the film’s P.R firm. That has no bearing on our review.