“Enter Nowhere” is a supernatural mystery/thriller which stars Katherine Waterston, Scott Eastwood, and Sara Paxton. It begins in a manner that the viewer might feel was generic to the point of derivative – after an opening scene involving Sara Paxton and her character’s boyfriend robbing a store, it then switches to Katherine Waterston wandering through the woods from her broken down car and coming across a cabin, where she is soon confronted by Scott Eastwood. Soon after, Waterston discovers Paxton asleep on the cabin’s porch. They appear to be unable to find a way out of the woods.
It is all very mysterious, in a way that I as a viewer was thinking I’ve seen before, a million times. I found myself beginning to make certain assumptions about what the story was about and what the conclusion would be. However, I was completely wrong. I don’t want to say what is really going on in this film because it really needs to be watched without knowing the conclusion.
It is a very small cast, with the three actors I’ve named plus a few minor characters being the only cast. The cast were capable, if not fantastic, but they didn’t really need to be for this film to be good. It is a low budget independent movie, and is a good example of why really good films can be made without spending millions of dollars.
The main plus of this film, that makes it worth watching, is an excellent story and tight script. Shawn Christensen and Jason Dolan have written a story that hinges on not giving away too much too soon. They succeed in this, leaving the audience wondering what is really happening, as slowly piece by piece the clues are unveiled in order to reveal the answer. I found, too, that as the story unfolded, I would be coming to new conclusions about the plot, only to be surprised again as more information is given.
The director Jack Heller has ably given this film an unsettling atmosphere without relying on jump scares, creepy music, or any of the other usual tropes one might expect. He is not setting out to be creepy, instead he is setting out to convey isolation, helplessness, and fear. He succeeds admirably in this – the audience watches as the characters try to find their way out only to see the cabin in front of them again, even though they’ve been walking away from it. Our feelings are not manipulated by the creepy vibes often engineered in these types of movies. The director invites us, instead, to wonder how we would feel if we, like the characters, were trying to do something relatively simple like walk to a road and find civilization, only to be inexplicably back where we started. The scenic nature of the woods only makes this worse, in a way. Everything looks so ordinary, so nondescript. Nearly all the action takes place in broad daylight.
This is not a brilliant film, but it is a good one, in my opinion. Do not expect thrills and chills – there is no gore, little violence, and no nudity. “Enter Nowhere” is a tight, low-key, slow burn story that gives the viewer something a little different, a little unexpected. It’s definitely worth a watch.