Fantasia Film Review: Mohawk

When there’s too much killing, the blood seeps into the ground and poisons it.

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Director Ted Geoghegan maneuvers a superb cast including Kaniehtiio Horn, Justin Rain and Jonathan Huber in the minimalist nail biting thriller Mohawk. It’s Geoghegan second feature film and he’s gone for a period piece from the War of 1812.

It’s hard to believe the timing of this film, and I’m glad there was a small dedication read at the start for the Iroquois people. Native American communities got the bad end of the deal so many years ago and still do today. To quote Ted Geoghegan, Mohawk is essentially a home invasion movie where the aboriginal are the residents and the colonizers, the invaders.

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The movie plays like itself as more of a horror genre that anything historical. The fleeing residents are Oak and Calvin, with them is british guest Joshua, who’s also putting his neck out there trying to get the Mohawk to ally with the British. Calvin has killed many soldiers at an American camp and has a small band of American survivors after him.

The setting is natural, the backgrounds are minimalistic and the score does a great job of setting the action in an ageless time but a current relevance. Was Calvin to blame for killing Americans that he found inside his own home lands? Does the Captain – who promotes himself to Coronel later on, is right to seek out the killer of his own son? Wasn’t his son torturing Calvin when that happened? Hate fosters hate as the revenge toll ends up firmly inside the Coronel’s camp when he takes the final blow. Unfortunately for him, the last Mohawk he executed is not quite ready to depart the mortal realm yet.

Recommended for fans of a different horror, and a reminder that as sad as it is to lose your homeland that doesn’t mean you give it up without putting one hell of a fight.

That will do for now.

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