Robbie Banfitch is, of course, right. What he does or doesn’t show you is exactly what gives this movie the “experimental” touch, and it forces the audience to do a lot of thinking along with their watching and screaming. It asks you to pay attention and put together the pieces of the puzzle, rather than let the story be spoon-fed to you. In fact, the monster (or whatever it is) in “The Outwaters” wants you to do the work to dissect this cosmic horror mystery.
However, one of the things I love about this idea is that Banfitch claims he didn’t really have a working knowledge of cosmic horror to begin with. During the film’s theatrical opening weekend, I moderated a Q&A with him at the Alamo Drafthouse in Manhattan, where he said he didn’t know much about this subgenre, nor did he set out to make something within the scope of it. I found that particularly interesting, considering how well the film boldly captures the two main tenets of cosmic horror: The confrontation of things unknowable to the human experience, and the cruel brutality of what is beyond our comprehension.
“The Outwaters” stars Banfitch, Scott Schamell, Angela Basolis, Michelle May, and Leslie Ann Banfitch. The film will be available to stream in the United States on February 17, 2023 via Screambox.