Under a bad moon is a profound tale of terror within the peripherals of a violent yet tranquil wilderness. It projects a stage where one is past the stage of pain and fear. She has outlived the opulence of agony. It is about a person who is ready to look at the devil in the eye and for once challenge the immensity of darkness around her.
The title itself suggests a rare inversion. The moon generally considered a symbol of beauty is referred to with a negative connotation. The word ‘bad’ is associated with the moon, the abode of goddesses like Selene, Freya and Luna.
The title performs the role of foreshadowing. The proleptic suggestion of chaos following is anything but unexpected.
Under a bad moon is a multi faceted tale of vengeance, violence and catharsis. It suggests a point where a person is pushed beyond respite. She must act immediately and protect mortals from the voracious pangs of carnal desires.
The plot revolves around a former deputy sheriff who moves to the countryside following the brutal murder of a close friend. She is yet to find the killer as the world offers her no immediate comfort. The killer is still on the loose as her tranquil night is rattled by various sounds. Sounds of one is distress and a couple of other people bent on destroying the one is distress forever. As she looks to fathom the source of the sounds she discovers a corpse and three young men and a woman. She must immediately act and fulfill her responsibility driven by a conscience of justice. Despite her brutal and fuming rage, she displays a side of hers that is more benevolent. A side that we get a glimpse of towards the end of the movie. Something that suggests a successful journey of purgation. One who must now stride towards the realm of final absolution.
The movie is driven by impeccable cinematography. The countryside, the calm waters, the wild trees, the isolated cottage, and the brutal witness on the moon, all appear to be adroit works of an impressive cinematographer.
The intense background score keeps the narrative in shape retaining much of the suspense in the movie. It induces the right amount of anxiety in an individual before helping her experience catharsis.
The initial scene where Roxanne Williams is out by herself into the wilderness suggests how mortals find solace and respite within the lap of nature. One finds peace in the tranquility of the waters and mirth in the frolic of the trees.
Roxanne struggles to escape the agonising tribulations of her past. Specifically, the gut wrenching death of someone she loved. However, the trauma she was running away from was following her in a different way.
A number of potent themes have been explored in the movie. The trope of violence has been exploited from multiple perspectives. The violence that disrupts and the violence that preserves.
The concepts of vengeance and karma have been noticeably explored in the movie as well.
The line ‘you reap what you sow’ in the movie suggests the same. The movie indicates a subtle shift of power from the grips of privileged individuals for a number of reasons. It gives autonomy to the moon away from the preponderance of the sun. It can perhaps choose if it wants to be good or bad.
The movie insinuates an alternate world where things would be a little different.
Deanna Shaekel does an exceptional job as the belligerent, perhaps driven by guilt, Roxanne Williams. She doesn’t take one wrong step and perfectly executes a somewhat challenging role.
The movie is a tale about three things beginning with the letter R. It is about revenge, it is about retribution and finally, it is also about redemption.
It is a must watch for lovers of thriller who wouldn’t mind a little drama once in a while.