There’s something out there…and it ain’t no man… Truth is there’s nothing out there, and that’s the beauty of Flora. A lot of the terror is in the minds of the characters as they gradually discover their situation get weirder and worse as the expedition gets further from civilisation into primeval, uncharted forest.
Essentially, this is a killer plant film, but not the rampaging Triffids or the hyper intelligence of The Ruins type of ferocious flora we’re used to. This is a more microscopic level of beastie, that is more Cabin Fever that killer vines. Wherein lies the beauty. Flora is a slow-burn horror, that involves you with the characters and their struggle to survive, instead of having to rely on jump scares and rubber monsters.
Setting the film in 1929 adds a new dimension to proceedings, as the group can’t rely on today’s conveniences such as GPS, making their situation far more fraught if he had been set in modern times. They are alone. No one is coming for them and it appears if that the surrounding forest itself is trying to kill them all. One scene, reminiscent of the blood test in The Thing is particularly horrifying, as our intrepid explorers endeavour to discover what fruits of the forest are edible…and which are not.
Despite its low budget, Flora is a very affective chiller, making the best of the beautiful surroundings, and fantastic wardrobe and props giving it a real sense of time and authenticity. Director Vukovic shots the landscapes fantastically, often drawing away from the characters and showing them truly alone in the wilderness, perhaps in homage to Walter Hill’s Southern Comfort which follows a similar plot of humans against an unseen enemy.
The ensemble cast is fantastic, standouts including the enigmatic Dan Lin, and the stunning Teresa Marie Doran who is one to watch in the future.
A well-made chiller thriller which feels both familiar and wholly original at the same time.