Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Director and Writer: Tim Skousen.
Starring: Alexandra Peters, Gavin Howe, Tanner Beard, and Tom Nowicki.
Synopsis: A brother and sister run away to the forest away from their abusive foster parents.

There are movies that tell a story, and there are movies that show a series of moments.THUNDER BROKE THE HEAVENS is definitely the latter. The movie follows a brother and sister duo who run away from their foster to live out in the forest. Not only is this a beautifully shot movie, but it also features some of the best child actors around.

THUNDER BROKE THE HEAVENS is an intense drama where the harsh reality is juxtaposed with the almost fantastical outdoor setting where the children spent the majority of the movie. Samantha and William Paul aka "Wibby" are just two regular children looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner, but then their estranged father comes despite the restraining order. What follows could only be described as a beautiful massacre. In the aftermath of this, the kids are left to stay in the foster care system and get dumped to a foster home that ends up being rather abusive. The movie picks up once the kids escape and they make their way deep into the forest.

Not much happens in the way of plot. It's more of a slice-of-life type of movie where you see the kids adjusting to and learning about their new environment. They deal with raccoons going after their food, with the weather, and with nature as a whole.

As previously mentioned, this is a beautiful movie, and the shots taken in this little forest are breathtaking. But it's also extremely heartwarming to see the siblings show so much love towards each other without ever saying a word. It's also kind of amazing to see the amount of things one could do without technology. The leads are also so incredible that you never question the authenticity of the characters. Alexandra Peters steals the show by also being a talented singer. Both Peters and Gavin Howe will be famous sooner than later.

There's also a very magical vibe to the whole movie thanks to not only the various animals like fawns but also in how the filmmakers show the siblings' mom come to help them when they need it the most. You never see her, she's mostly off-frame, but when you see a hand supporting Samantha as she's climbing a steep hill, you get it, and it's some beautiful filmmaking.

This hardest thing to get past this movie is how punishing it can be at the beginning as the kids try to make their way to the forest. There's murder, abuse of the mental, physical, and sexual manner, and that's not a bad thing when it advances the plot, but it can be a challenge for some to watch. Also, there's really not much that happens except a rather dramatic climax that uses a cliche plot device for these types of movies. These slice-of-life movies can be difficult to get through if you're not invested in the characters.

There are plenty of movies out there with children, but not many of them capture what being a child is really like, and that's one of charms of this movie's charm. THUNDER BROKE THE HEAVEN is a moving piece of cinema full of love that's optimistic despite the darkness.

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