Film Review: Horizon

CelebMix reviews the short film, Horizon, adapted from the popular gay web series

Horizon, directed by Stephan Elliott, made it’s international debut at the Raindance Film Festival in London last week.

The film festival took place between 24 September and 2 October 2016. The Raindance Film Festival showcases features, shorts, music videos, virtual reality films and web series. Filmmakers from around the world entered, and Horizon was one of the short films.

Transformed from the popular gay web series, this short takes the first two seasons and combines them into a film.

What is originally 16 episodes which would be a total of 99 minutes and 12 seconds of viewing time; you could watch the film instead, cutting the viewing time by just over half. This film’s running time is a total of 55 minutes, and boy, do they cram a lot in. 16 episodes into one short film is not an easy thing to do.

Watch the trailer for Horizon short film here:

First off, all six seasons of this web series can be watched on YouTube right now, for free. The seventh season is currently being shown on Hyvio which can also be watched for free. These episodes from season seven will later appear on YouTube.

So why, might you ask, would we watch the film if we can watch the series? Well, in its own right, the film is an interesting take on the Australian gay scene. It takes important scenes from the first two seasons and adapts them into a much bigger production, with a much bigger impact.

Fans of the show will notice that the actors from season three onwards replace the original actors in the first two seasons. This is because the web series had a very short budget, and so different actors played certain characters as the web series progressed. The film redeems itself in that respect. Well apart from Millie, who is played by Anna Bauert in the film, whereas we’ve always seen her played by Sarah Louella from season three onwards.

The film is full of nostalgia for anyone who loves the web series. Turning much loved low-budgeted scenes into spectacular production scenes. So much is covered, it’s unbelievable how they fit everything in 55 minutes. We have the expected storyline, with a few changes that definitely add more of a dramatic effect.

The film follows Jake Collins, a closeted country boy from Bega. He arrives in Sydney intending to live with a guy he met online called AJ. He bumps into Wilma Bumhurt where they start up an unlikely friendship. Jake meets AJ and heads back to his place. Things go well at first, but AJ fails to stay faithful to Jake. Hurting, Jake returns to the bar and meets Wilma Bumhurt again. The drag queen offers Jake a place to stay and their friendship develops. AJ is sorry for what he has done and attempts to make things up to Jake, however, Jake’s friends, Millie and Mickey from Bega, arrive in Sydney. This only complicates matters, their lives tangle creating quite the mess, one that definitely feels real.

Directed by Stephan Elliott, who is well known for directing “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, the film really gives an insight into Australia’s gay community. The script was written by Boaz Stark, who created the web-series, while Brian Cobb acted as producer. Much-loved actors and characters pop up in the film including Paul Layton playing Jake, Patrick James playing Wilma Bumhurt/Dennis, Matthew C. Clarke playing Mikey, and Indigo Felton playing AJ; even Francis Mossman appears as an extra, playing Stevie; while Adam George plays Saxon. However, as previously mentioned, they had changed the actress for Millie; in the film, she’s played by Anna Bauert, who definitely plays the role well; but not quite as well as the original actress Sarah Louella.

A scene we particularly loved was ‘The Christmas Tree Dance’. This is a magical scene in the web series, and they’ve only made it so much better in the film. There is even an instructional video on the dance, so grab your mates, learn the dance and then put on Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”. Now dance with us. Christmas Tree. Star. Tinsel. Baubles. Presents. Presents.

This film is perfect for any fans of the web series, relive your favourite scenes and watch as they switch them up adding a much bigger impact and bigger production. The film is quite rushed in places, as well as missing out minor scenes from the web series. Although it’s difficult to fit everything into this short film, so all is forgiven.

Film Review: Horizon 1

The film is expected to hit iTunes, Amazon and Google Play in the near future. Horizon will be shown at the New York Webfest 2016, a film festival in Manhatten which takes place on 10 November – 12 November. For now, you can watch all six seasons on YouTube here. Don’t forget Hyvio is showing season seven right now.

Did you see this film at the Raindance Film Festival? What did you make of it? Are you planning on seeing it at the New York Webfest? Let us know all your thoughts on Twitter @CelebMix.

DISCLAIMER: We have made every effort to verify that the images and multimedia content displayed on this page are free to use for reporting purposes. If you feel we have infringed your copyright, click here to alert us and we’ll do our best to remove it as soon as possible.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

23-year-old writer, blogger, author and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, The Coffee House, Outlet Magazine, and Fuzzable. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni