Grimmfest Review: Moon Garden

Relationships are hard. They require a lot of work and the person you were madly in love with just a year ago could now be your sworn enemy. Communication is key, but it’s far too easy to let petty differences build up until this becomes the hardest thing to do. The catalyst for such difficulties is often change. Whether that’s in work or family life. For a child growing up in an environment where there’s regular conflict, it’s a traumatic experience. Moon Garden tackles this from a child’s perspective.

Emma (Haven Lee Harris) is a bright an inquisitive 5-year-old who loves her parents very much. Her mom (Augie Duke) and dad (Brionne Davis) love her too but, unfortunately, their relationship has all but broken down. Their arguments are getting progressively worse, until one day, after overhearing them, she falls down the stairs and falls into a comatose state. Finding herself trapped within a dangerous and scary dreamscape.

Moon Garden is an unusual and disturbing childhood fantasy horror film. What stands out is the incredible amount of detail that has gone into this industrial dystopian world. Ryan Stevens Harris uses a dizzying array of effects and animation technique to create his vision.  It’s truly terrifying, at times. Constructing the world from the viewpoint of Emma’s greatest fears. While everything doesn’t always come off, Moon Garden is a fascinating and innovative approach to addressing childhood trauma.

Moon Garden screened at Grimmfest.

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