Consumption also known as Live-in Fear sees two couples travel to the snowy mountains of Utah for a nice relaxing weekend. From the moment they are introduced in the car it’s clear that neither pairing is particularly happy.
After re-telling an old ghost story that his grandfather told him, Seth confides in Eric that his mother died recently & that he hasn’t told anyone including his girlfriend Becca. He does this because he believes she is asleep but she overhears his conversation with Eric.
When they arrive Seth makes a big deal out of a particular suitcase that he doesn’t want the others to touch. It’s huge, heavy & Seth is very protective of it…hmmm, I wonder what’s inside!? Add that he is having visions of his dead mother & it’s fairly obvious that not everything is ok in the head of young Seth.
The group meet the ‘Pats’, an elderly couple who are a bit odd. Friendly at first, their behaviour changes when one of the women (Mallory) tells them that she is an atheist.
“You could have made it so easy on yourself”.
If that isn’t a veiled threat, I don’t know what is!
Throw in an ominous warning from another local a bit later & the rest of the characters suddenly showcasing a range of conflicting behaviours. What you get here is a very low budget, creepy film that builds a decent atmosphere before flushing it all down the toilet for a nonsensical final third.
It’s never really clear just what is going on here. Is it about mental health? Is it ghostly-goings-on? Is it cult related? There are numerous threads here & none of them really knot together by the end. It gets pretty messy as the film reaches its climax & the final few moments are incredibly disappointing as you realise that’s it, that’s all your getting.
That being said the journey is enjoyable even if its low-budget nature makes for some poor effects & shots. There are far too many ‘close ups’ & while the quality of acting is better then many other films with a higher budget, it’s not so good that the film can sustain these constant focuses on faces.
As characters go it was nice to see more effort put into making each couple stand out. They all have their own problems & as the film carries on you see those issues really take hold. It makes them far more interesting to watch, funny how character development makes for a more enjoyable watch.
Consumption is littered with flaws, mainly surrounding it’s confusing & un-satisfying story but for such a low budget effort (rumoured to be about $50,000) it deserves praise.