Wherever man hungers for flesh, “There too Lilith shall repose.” ~ Isaiah 34:14
I recently had the opportunity to screen the new psychological thriller Lilin’s Brood. Intrigued?
Lilin’s Brood is the new psychological thriller written and directed by the creative team, MansA Mojo Brothers (P.W. Simon & Arti Smith) from Some Sirius Ship Productions. The cast is comprised of virtual unknowns, but a couple of times you have ah-ha moments of: It’s ‘that guy’ from that ‘that thing’ you just watched and don’t know their names – tis the curse of the character actors. There are definite aspects of the film I appreciate, but it has flaws as well.
Lilin’s is presented in the “found footage” style akin to The Blair Witch Project. It is the story of a “new media” investigative team, W.H.I.S.T.L.E., which is trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of several men. The men, as far as the team can tell, were not connected to each other in any way. Their personal and private lives did intersect.
In digging deeper into the lives of the missing men, the investigators – Vanessa, Wolf, Danny, Thomas, and Art – discover a possible connection between the missing and group of brothels. What is interesting about these brothels is that they are rumored to be connected to the illegal organ harvesting and trafficking trade and the team finds this compelling enough to go in search of one particular house of ill-repute.
Their mobile investigative RV gets into an accident, they encounter a creepy stranger that offers help for a ride, and they stumble upon the brothel, or so they think they did. The whore house is run by Madame Plu (Melinda Milton), an odd woman with an indistinct accent (she’s was going for Creole, but at times is waffles on some indistinct African accent). Truthfully, her accent is so “put on” and campy that it becomes annoying and painful to the ears. There is also the African-house music playing in the background that adds to the cheese and euro-trash creep factor.
While waiting, in the brothel, for AAA the cameramen go exploring the grounds in hopes of finding some evidence to link them to the disappearances. Their “bathroom” breaks are covers for them to covertly place hidden cameras around the house. One of the investigators follows a mysterious girl into a secluded lower level. The girl is quite animalistic and she feigns to seduce him and then bites him. He freaks out and gets away and notices that there are men – Johns – kept in the depths. Something isn’t right about this place.
At the same exact moment, Madame Plu is attempting whew Vanessa, the female crew member, into the fold. She wants her to become part of “family.” This female-centric cult dedicates their existence to the service of the mythical being Lilith. The legend goes, she was the mythical first wife of Adam in the Garden of Eden and that she left Adam because she did not want to submit to him. The cult is dedicated to her path and service. There is a lot of lady-parts imagery around. The Madame of the house connects with Vanessa because they are both from Louisiana and she feels a kinship with her spirit. She wants her to succeed her as new leader of the clan.
The crew’s arrival at the door of the brothel falls on a very special night. It appears that it is the night of some sort of mystical birth/rebirth or ascension for their deity Lilith. The male crew members become sacrifices and possibly food. Madame Plu remarks, “Wherever man hungers for flesh, you too shall repose.” Once men pass over the threshold they can never leave alive…it’s a darker Hotel California.
The found footage is dark, confusing, and sometimes terrifying. As a female I like the vagina-centric slant, but I root for some of the men to survive. All men, the weaker sex they may be, do not deserve to die.
The depiction of Madame Plu is annoying and over-the-top. Her accent is never quite right, and the character is so campy and OVER acted that you can barely stand to listen or look at her. Apparently she did not watch True Blood to see, with the exception of Bill Compton, what people from Louisiana are ACTUALLY supposed to sound like. But if you can get past that character the rest of the acting is not too bad and the story moves along well-enough.
The character of Vanessa is portrayed by a fresh face Maxine Goynes and she carries the role with ease. She doesn’t overact; she delivers her lines in a very natural way. She has conversation with her costars in instead of just delivering lines. Brent King (Danny), Martin Sensmeier (Wolf), and Arti Smith turn in nice performances as well. The men also bring a humor and realism to the story with their gross-out behavior – which is often needed in this genre of films so that they are not complete downers.
Although Lilin’s Brood can be a bit convoluted at times – I believe that this can be solved with some additional editing – it is an interesting and worth a watch.