Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Joey Curtis
Cast: Paul Sidhu, Branden Coles, Arielle Holmes, Kelcey Watson
Joey Curtis’ 2307: Winter’s Dream makes for a snowy nod to John Carpenter’s Escape from New York. In fact, the film offers up an alarming number of similarities. From sending a documented bad ass to track the leader of a humanoid race that stand, physically, far superior to man, to the wild twists that culminate in a surprising showdown between very few survivors of this treacherous journey, there are a surprising number of parallels.
For the sake of the film, I won’t illustrate each plot point that mirrors EFNY, but I will say that it’s harder to not see these mirror moments than it is to see them. Needless to say, further delving into the topic will lead to certain spoilers and that’s never a practice I prefer to exercise.
What’s great about this film is the embracing of the 80s action/horror format. Think of pictures like The Predator, or Aliens, or even The Thing. These are all productions that feature near-male exclusive casts entering hazardous terrain with the intention (this is not initially the intention of those featured in The Thing) of luring the villain into a clearing where the group can slaughter whatever threat stands before them. It’s a very familiar recipe, and I can’t say that I’ve seen it exercised to the successful measures reached in the 1980s, but every once in a while one of these movies will come along, and once in a while these movies are pretty damn entertaining, and you’ve just got to enjoy those occasions.
Knowing my stance on the story itself, you’re safe in assuming that 2307: Winter’s Dream tugged frequently at my nostalgic heart strings. For a moment there I’m certain it sounded as though I was preparing to brand this one a cheap rip off. That was never the case, but I most certainly wanted you to understand that as entertaining as 2307: Winter’s Dream can be, it doesn’t necessarily rack up many points in the originality department.
I’m not the kind of guy that needs every movie to be a “new” movie, so I’m good with this particular film. Curtis stretches an obviously slim budget to unbelievable lengths, and it’s relatively easy to forget that we’re watching a limited little indie film as opposed to a large studio piece. The visuals are simultaneously desolate and beautiful. The cinematography is crisp, lighting and transitions both handled in professional fashion. It’s a good looking film and the small, relative unknown gang that make-up the primary cast are all ambitious and admirable. There are no half-hearted performances here.
There are a good deal of qualities to be unearthed with a viewing of 2307: Winter’s Dream. I think Joey Curtis and Paul Sidhu (who not only fronts the film as the rogue heroic type, he also co-wrote the film with Curtis) showed their cards and their hearts in one swift motion, paying respectable and respectful love to some of the flicks that most fanatics hold dear to their heart. No… there’s no theft here, just a 100 minute bow to some of the greatest works to be created in the 1980s.
Job well done, guys. 2307: Winter’s Dream is a frosty thrill-ride right out of the gate. It’s a savage brutality and an unlikely solidarity entangled in a treacherous dance until the very bitter end.