27 September 2023

The Girl on the Mountain

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Matt Sconce, Defiant Screen Entertainment.

The path to redemption is never without pain.

When a hermit-like backwoodsman finds a mute young girl wandering alone in the forest, he must protect her from the evil forces determined to end her life.

Set against a backdrop of beautiful, yet treacherous wilderness, The Girl on the Mountain is an intense thriller. Haunted by family tragedy Jack Ward (Daniel O’Reilly, Collision Earth, D-Railed), a composer, has turned his back on society. Consumed with guilt over the accidental death of his only child Melody (Sarah Dorothy Little), Ward is a broken man. Into this solitary existence comes Aria (Makenzie Sconce): hungry, alone and afraid. She’s fleeing abuse and murder. Through flashbacks you get a sense of the trauma suffered by both of them.

Reluctant at first to allow her into his world, the two slowly form a bond. The girl reveals she’s escaped a horrific home life filled with neglect, ill-treatment and murder.

Ward is given a chance at absolution. He understands sign language and they begin to communicate. They go on walks through mountain trails, along the river bank, watch amazing sunrises and sunsets and sit around camp fires. There’s a serenity, of sorts, in the backwoods. They are both on the end of a tightrope, looking for solace, a way out of their misery. In their individual way, they are the ones who do help each other.

Safety and security, however, are short-lived as the girl’s vengeful father and his posse converge on the two. Ward summons his survival instincts as a paternal protector and has a face-off against the sadistic intruders determined to end her life.

While O’Reilly performs well, it’s Sconce who particularly shines in her role.

The drama is directed by Matt Sconce (Altar) from a story co-written with Christopher Mejia.

  • The Girl on the Mountain has been released on Digital and On Demand

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