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Grounded Approach Elevates Wilderness Thriller’s Authenticity and Immersio

Distress Signals


Genre: Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 20m
Director(s): Terence Krey, Christine Nyland
Writer(s): Christine Nyland, Terence Krey
Cast: Christine Nyland, Jonathon Strauss, Stephanie Hains, Donna Maria Wood, Christian Nilsson, Terence Krey
Where To Watch: coming to Digital & VOD on May 12, 2023

RAVING REVIEW: Stranded in the wilderness after a treacherous fall, Caroline (Christine Nyland) faces her fears and a dislocated shoulder as she navigates through a maze of unexpected challenges to find her way back to safety. DISTRESS SIGNALS, an engaging survival thriller with a modest budget, arises from the creative collaboration of Terence Krey and Christine Nyland. This dynamic duo takes on multiple roles in the film, including co-directing, writing, producing, and acting. DISTRESS SIGNALS unfolds steadily, allowing the audience to connect with Caroline and gradually learn about her past and the circumstances that led to her current dilemma.

The breathtaking forest backdrop, vibrant colors, and rich textures contrast with the sense of danger and isolation that engulfs Caroline. The film breaks us into her mind with moments of quiet introspection, emphasizing the mental and physical demands of survival. Nyland delivers an authentic and absorbing performance; there is no more impressive feat in acting than when one person can control the entire film. Despite her efforts to reach her friends, she soon realizes that her survival depends on her cunning and resourcefulness. The film contemplates the risks people are willing to take and the balance between potential danger and reward.

DISTRESS SIGNALS is a solid entry in the survival horror genre, showcasing outstanding performances, exceptional cinematography, and a stimulating screenplay. I’ve seen a lot of people knocking the film for not being “stressful” enough, but that was one of my favorite parts—this feels more authentic than many survival films I’ve seen before. Too often, these films' characters are put up against impossible odds. I mean, being lost in the forest could be tragic, but there also has to be a reality to it. Running around like an idiot isn’t going to help anyone; Nyland’s performance was calm and collected for the most part and showed a more grounded approach.

The film's intricate character development enhances Nyland's portrayal of Caroline. The realistic depiction of her struggle with a dislocated shoulder and unwavering determination to overcome physical obstacles immerses the audience in Caroline's journey. Viewers are drawn into her world as she demonstrates resourcefulness and quick thinking, managing her supplies and devising inventive strategies to tackle her difficulties.  The suspense in DISTRESS SIGNALS intensifies when Caroline discovers more in the woods than just her.

Caroline's choices and actions feel genuine and imperfect, making her journey all the more relatable. Audiences empathize with her triumphs and setbacks, rooting for her as she confronts the perils of the wild. Your enjoyment of this film will ultimately come down to some of the twists in the movie, and if you can put yourself in her shoes, can you accept a “real-world” survival film?

DISTRESS SIGNALS delivers a captivating and thought-provoking examination of survival and the resilience of the human spirit. Christine Nyland's performance as Caroline is extraordinary, and the film's purposeful pacing and themes provide a unique perspective on the survival horror genre. While it may not cater to everyone's taste, the movie highlights the potential of collaborative creativity and is a must-see for fans of exhilarating outdoor horror experiences.

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[photo courtesy of DARK SKY FILMS]

Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.