‘MIND BODY SPIRIT’ (2024) is quite the frightening flex for filmmakers Alex Henes and Matthew Merenda

welcome-villain logoMIND BODY SPIRIT

mind body spirit posterAnya moves into her estranged late grandmother’s home in an attempt to find herself and start a career as a yoga influencer. Her timid, authentic nature makes her a target of criticism and self-doubt. When she discovers a hidden door to the attic and a handwritten book of rituals collected by her grandmother, dark motives inhabit Anya’s spiritual journey.

A clever transition device includes internet buffering and built-in ads. The camera work, mostly laptop-based and hand-held, fully immerses you in the stillness, making you hyper-aware of the slightest movements on screen. The slow build is undeniably effective. The 360° shot is the star pupil.

Mind Body Spirit Still 1Inspiration from both Rob Savage‘s Host, Paranormal Activity, and The Blair Witch Project are unmissable. The dialogue has a slick duality. While we know more than Anya at any given moment, her unassuming words hit a nerve more than once. I feel compelled to warn you now. One particular scene might make you vomit by testing your natural gag reflex.

Sarah J. Bartholomew gives Anya a tangible vulnerability and innocence just ripe for the picking (off). She is the entire film. Her physical performance is applause-worthy. MIND BODY SPIRIT mixes Russian folklore and unresolved generational trauma. Filmmakers Alex Henes and Matthew Merenda make spirituality scary. In true form, Namaste to you both.

 On Digital May 7th

Director: Alex Henes, Matthew Merenda    
Screenwriters: Alex Henes, Matthew Merenda
Producer: Dan Asma
Cast: Sarah J. Bartholomew, Madi Bready, KJ Flahive
Genre: Horror
Run Time: 80 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Distributor: Welcome Villain Films

Synopsis: MIND BODY SPIRIT follows Anya, an aspiring yoga influencer, as she embarks on a ritual practice left behind by her estranged grandmother. What starts as a spiritual self-help guide quickly evolves into something much more sinister. As Anya becomes obsessed with the mysterious power of the practice, she unwittingly unleashes an otherworldly entity that begins to take control of her life — and her videos. Now Anya must race to unlock the truth, before her descent into madness threatens to consume her mind, body, and spirit. 

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Welcome Villain Films, who recently released MALUM, HUNT HER, KILL HER, and BEATEN TO DEATH, is a fully integrated genre studio with an innovative business model and flexible approach to development, production, marketing, and strategic distribution. A destination for filmmakers with unique voices who seek a creative studio partner that embraces their visions and has the ability to deliver them to genre-hungry audiences in exciting new ways, Welcome Villain Films’ mission is to empower creators of all levels, bridging the gap between studio and artist to consistently deliver edgy and exciting films in the horror and genre space. For more information, visit www.WelcomeVillain.com 

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