… But Scaring the Bejesus Out of Audiences Wasn’t the Primary Goal
Writer-Director Ryan Stevens Harris: “MOON GARDEN was always meant to feel like a ﬁlm out of its time. As if an old dusty ﬁlm reel were found in an attic somewhere, wound up on a projector, and rediscovered. MOON GARDEN is a true labor of love. For nearly half a decade, the ﬁlm has essentially been my family’s life. My real-life daughter, Haven, plays the wide-eyed cherubic little girl lost in her own industrial wonderland. And it still thrills me how she tackled every day as if the ﬁlm were nothing but a playground built just for her.
“My wife and co-producer sings the lilting lullabies throughout the ﬁlm, her smile always a beacon in an otherwise stormy journey. My closest collaborator and ﬁlmmaking partner, John Michael Elfers, a great talent, doubles as both producer and puppeteer for many of the practical camera tricks.”
“It’s inspiring how art can heal, as MOON GARDEN Itself brought my own family and relationships closer together, somewhat similar to the transformation of the characters in the ﬁlm. And after working tirelessly, I believe in our own humble way we’ve created a small monument to each other. This is the central core of MOON GARDEN. Broken things can mend. No matter how tragic things might seem, there’s always a delicate magic that can bring people back together. Sometimes it just takes a child to realize it.”
[Opened Friday, October 9, in NYC metro area, including IFC Center, Manhattan.]
Written and Directed by RYAN STEVENS HARRIS
Produced by JOHN MICHAEL ELFERS
Starring Augie Duke, Brionne Davis, Haven Lee Harris, Maria Olsen, Timoth Lee Depriest, Phillip E. Walker, and Morgana Ignis
Run Time: 93 min
It’s been quite a while since the last time a film was so mesmerizing that it felt like it was taking over my mind, body and soul scene after scene after scene, and there was nothing that I could but hold on for an extraordinary filmic experience– scene after scene after scene.
MOON GARDEN publicity tells about a winsome little girl’s fantastical adventure odyssey in an Alternate Universe with danger and menace every step of her way – especially her being stalked by a gruesome creature with “chattering hungry teeth” that wants to feed on her tears.
Audiences need to be aware they too will be going on an fantastical adventure. This isn’t a film for kids, it’s for the kid within us. A fantastical film with a plot that contains an Alternative Universe resonating with real world angsts and as well as mind-blowing amazement. Whew!
Mind Blowing: Real World & An Alternative Universe
Cherubic, pre-school prodigy Emma (played by Haven Lee Harris) is knocked unconscious when she accidentally trips and falls fleeing from the rage of a brutal domestic row in her home: Her father (Alex, played by Brionne Davis) and mother (Sara, played by Augie Duke) are ripping into each other like there is no tomorrow. But Emma is the one who ends up in a hospital.
She also simultaneously ends up in an Alternative Universe from where she watches EMTs strap her, unconscious, to a stretcher and she eventually sees herself comatose in a hospital. Peering from that Universe where she is trapped, Emma shouts and her parents can’t hear or see her. Her overall prognosis is critically bad.
In that Universe, she also is subsequently stalked by a vicious, ungodly spectral-like monster: The Teeth, venomously well played by Morgana Ignis who needs to feed off her tears! To survive, Emma learns she must follow her mom’s radio-static voice to ﬁnd her way back.
OMG! MOON GARDEN makes this reviewer imagine a scintillating Twilight Zone on Steroids!
A Little More Background About MOON GARDEN: Crackerjack Cinematography Is Dazzling
A tear escaping Emma’s eye during a wrenching moment falls to the ground, awakening a nightmarish creature that rises, wearing a ﬁlthy long coat and aged hat with chattering hungry teeth that would scare the hell out of a werewolf. The teeth devours Emma’s tear greedily and the hunt is on for Emma.
She ﬂees through a grotesquely but at the same time fascinating landscape and meets up with a quirky musician who has a music box and he gives her an old transistor radio. Emma can now hear her mom and she follows the signal, hoping it will lead her to home.
Click here for Moon Garden Part 2: Bios
Gregg W. Morris can be reached email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org