There has been a huge spurt of interest in horror films over the last few years. Not only are they suddenly ‘elevated’ in the eyes of some critics, they’ve also because Box Office hits for film studios. As you might expect, producers are falling over themselves to make the next It Follows, Get Out, Heredity or A Quiet Place. However, most genre cinema is a combination of a determined film-maker, a clever idea and a very meagre budget. Artik is a case in point.

Boy Adam (Gavin White) is hardly privy to a conventional childhood. His dad, if you can call him that, has some unusual life lessons to impart. Artik’s (Jerry G. Angelo) idea of teaching is to demonstrate how to get away with brutal murders. His psychotic wife (Lauren Ashley Carter) is no better. This continues until one day Holton (Chase Williamson) notices the boy has issues and vows to save him.

Artik uses comic book and fantasy tropes to create a claustrophobic and bloody tale of what happens when someone goes badly wrong. The titular villain is akin to an ogre-like figure who uses and abuses for his own purposes. Holton is the unlikely hero. Tasked with the mission of rescuing the young boy and banishing the evil from the land. Tom Botchii Skowronski has crafted an unusual film about the darkness which resides within truly lost people and the power of salvation.

Artik screened at Grimmfest.