A deaf organization in my area sponsored a showing at a church recently. I was very excited about seeing it after my previous experience watching Gerald. This time I brought along my husband (who is hearing) so I'll share some of his perspective on the film too.
Black Sand is about a group of teenagers visiting Costa Rica and their stay at the home of an older woman who has recently been experiencing strange happenings around her property. For me the premise was reminiscent of Scooby Doo with its gang of young people and a mysterious creature lurking in the shadows. Not to give anything away but there's even an unmasking at the end!
That said, this movie is so much more. Nothing is as it seems. All your assumptions will be overturned before the final scene. If you like a movie with twists and turns, this is the film for you.
The title of the film has its own part to play in the plot twists. I found this interesting quote about black sand (the grainy stuff on the beach, NOT this movie) on a prospector's website:
The topic of black sand comes up in prospecting sometimes more than gold does! And it is very misunderstood. You often read or hear that the presence of black sand in an area means there is gold in the area also. This is not true.You may want to keep that quote in mind when you see the film!
This movie has no audio. The story is told through ASL with English captions at the bottom for those like me who aren't fluent and those like my husband who don't know any ASL. There are no sound effects described. For my husband it was like seeing any foreign film but for me it was an opportunity to experience deaf culture.
To me the director did an excellent job of building suspense. In one scene there is a power outage and everyone is gathered around a table by candlelight when they notice one of them is missing. In another scene, one of the girls is hiding in a closet peeking through a crack wondering if she is about to be discovered. I thought how much more scarier it was for the deaf characters to have their vision limited in these situations. My husband didn't see it that way. He thought the lack of scary music made it less intense. In fact, he cracked that the soundman for the film should have been fired.
If you've seen the film, let me know your thoughts. If you haven't seen it, you can visit the ASL Films Black Sand website to read a synopsis, view the trailer, and book a showing.