Sator Mixes Family Videos Into Supernatural Horror [Review]

Both Cannibal Holocaust and The Blair Witch Project claimed to be “found” footage, which led to a murder trial for the former and box office success for the latter. Auteur Jordan Graham’s first feature, Sator, is a variation on that theme. In his director’s statement, Graham says, “Also very real in this film, despite its fictional premise, is my grandmother relating her unique and hauntingly personal experiences.” Meaning Sator mixes Graham’s family videos into a supernatural horror film.

Not knowing where the fiction starts and where the fact ends make for a fascinating viewing experience. As a recording of his Grandma says, “If you summon Sator, he will turn his attention toward you… he will make you pure” over the radio, viewers will wonder if it’s a real or scripted recording. Graham’s Nani (June Peterson) plays herself, and it’s never clear when she’s acting, if ever, and when she’s being filmed out of character. It’s not clear if there is a character at all. That ambiguity had will have viewers rapt, trying to spot the seams between reality and fiction.

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