Brides to Be | 2016

Robin & Jenna are getting married.

Robin is excited beyond words; Jenna is plagued by panic attacks and struggles to write her vows. But when they arrive at their secluded fairy-tale venue sinister forces besiege them, threatening to tear them apart.

It’s both a love story and a psychological thriller, a timeless romance in a haunted house. Skillfully mixing genres, the film explores how doubt and fear can be imposed upon us and infect us from within, but only if we let it.

Starring Carollani Sandberg and Angela DiMarco

Directed by Kris & Lindy Boustedt

“I’ll say right up front that it’s good, perhaps even great… This is the kind of economical, smart, Hitchcockian film that M. Night Shyamalan wishes he could make… Every element belongs, is necessary, and delights even as it unsettles… Not that Brides To Be is strictly a ghost story. It refuses to tell us exactly what is the source of trouble; or, more accurately, it embraces several possibilities, allowing conflict to emerge from multiple sources… This one deserves your money and time.
Seattle Gay Scene
“A lot of horror films have disposable characters… This is not one of [them]… It is a drama about overcoming fear in order to really connect with someone else… this film made me care.
The Macguffin
Above all, this is a love story, and the house and its secrets cloak that in an air of mystery. BRIDES TO BE offers a horror story with an emotional center and characters that we instantly bond with. We are invested in their story as they make their way through the evening. We care about them, we want to see them come out of this unscathed – not just by the ghostly entity, but they their own internal demons… Carollani Sandberg and Angela DiMarco are incredible.”
Ain’t It Cool News

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Directors’ Statement: 

We strive to tell fascinating, entertaining stories about compelling women. Brides To Be is no exception. With the successes of our short films Practical Things and Together Forever (dozens of festival screenings, awards and over 3M views on YouTube as of this writing), we knew we wanted to return to positive-representation Queer 2.0 storytelling – stories about great characters who are also gay.

 

First and foremost, Brides to Be is a character study of Jenna as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. On the eve of her nuptials, something is tearing at her and she’s unable to write her vows. She loves Robin, she wants to marry her, but she’s also unsure of her own identity and place in the world – she’s worried about losing her sense of self when the ampersand becomes permanent in Robin & Jenna.

 

It’s also a supernatural drama, a classic haunted house film – shot in an actual haunted mansion.  In the style of films like Ti West’s The Innkeepers or Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, Brides to Be is about the creeping dread of our own insecurities, doubts and anxieties writ large through supernatural, and terrifying, activity.

But we want to buck a trend of the genre by having the main characters be women with their own stories, strengths and vulnerabilities (instead of being props or screams) and featuring non-exploited, non-marginalized, non-fetishized lesbian characters.

 

And it’s an allegory for the way hatred and fear infects our lives, zeroing in on homophobia and the continued resistance to marriage equality. Our favorite horror films are those that offer social commentary, that make us question the status quo of existence.  After all, good horror provides a “satisfying catharsis for the constraints, expectations and falsified desires that society imposes on its members (or that its members happily take upon themselves). Horror done right has an underlying social metaphor” (Ryan Levin, The Man in the Movie Hat).

 

The engine of it all is simple: the relationships between Jenna and Robin and Jenna and Nate, the friend she’s had since childhood. Relationships that allow the audience to explore fundamental questions of the human condition: who are we, what do we want, are we alone?

 

But above all, it’s a story about the power of love.