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By Mark Bell | September 21, 2014

Past acts of violence seem destined to recur at a certain waterfront property, leaving space for unanswered questions and an abundance of fear.

Zach Fleming’s We’ll Be Happy Over There is a short tale about relationships that turn violent when communication goes awry. The film opens upon a little cabin where a young man and woman appear to have reached the breaking point. It is understood that the woman drowns. Shortly thereafter, the scene jumps to another troubled young couple at the cabin.

Fleming’s seemingly simple plot is anything but that, even though we may be lulled into a complacent focus upon certain disturbing character-actions as opposed to larger possibilities. The profound sorcery at work here derives from Fleming’s skill at providing a relaxed ambiance, in the form of pleasing gospel music, and a pristine lakeside—complete with wildflowers and soothing breezes.

But shards of the problematic, both real and imagined, creep in when Fleming’s little narrative devolves into cinematic-experimentalism. It is in this aspect of Fleming’s extremely effective filmmaking that time and music stray from the mundane to the frightening, and violence melds into spirituality of one type or another.

We’ll Be Happy Over There is a very strongly written, well thought out thriller, with much in the way of analysis of the human condition. About the only thing that keeps it from a perfect rating is that the camera seems to stagnate on one scene far too long. In spite of that, I strongly suggest watching the film several times, since each viewing will yield a different experience. I’d also keep my eye on Zach Fleming, and the possibility of an upcoming mega-feature, sure to scare even the bravest among us.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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