Coming to terms with the explanation of his mother’s untimely death, Alex turns to spiritual contact after the relationship with his father breaks down. As a student of metaphysics, Alex learns of the “scientific” premise of astral projection—the ability to project your spirit into an unseen spatial dimension. Attempting to astral project, Alex becomes plagued by shadow spirits—malevolent entities vying to enter his body to access our world. Alex soon learns that he is not the only member of his family to have been besieged by such beings, as his mother’s dark past is brought to his attention.
The pace of the film is a mystery. By that I mean, it has the feel of a slow and steady burn but in reality, the time passes really quickly. Which is sort of ironic when you consider the editing of a few scenes. You’ll have to watch to see what I mean by that. I was fully engrossed the entire run. Admittedly, the plot went in an entirely different direction than I was expecting which is always refreshing. At first, I thought it was going to be a typical setup of students and professor engaging in some private and shady experiments outside of the classroom but it has none of that. Then you think, well maybe it will a bit Flatliners inspired. Wrong again. Bravo for not falling into any of those traps. With Astral, there is very specific CG and used rather sparingly throughout the majority of the film. The effectiveness of the CG is impactful and it’s all that’s needed to build up the suspense. The film’s believability rests solely with our leading man, Frank Dillane. He happens to be my favorite actor from Fear The Walking Dead and he does not disappoint here. His natural ability to make you feel comfortable is pretty astounding. You genuinely root for him. Astral does an amazing job at making you feel on edge. The ending is worth the wait and the familiar occult historical references give it nicely grounded feel. Is astral projection the new Ouija board? Maybe.
ASTRAL was co-written by Chris and Michael Mul and is Chris Mul’s directorial debut. The film has a running time of 83 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA.
Vertical Entertainment will release ASTRAL in a multi-city theatrical release with markets including LA and NY among others on November 23. The film will also be made available on digital platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Fandango Now, Direct TV, Dish Network and through local cable providers