Having left its mark as a suspenseful short film just 5 years ago, Tethered has finally been made into a much anticipated full-length feature. Its lengthened runtime only means a welcome bolstered backstory for Solomon (Brody Bett/Jared Laufree) and his mother Nidia (Alexandra Paul) at the centre of the horror lore.
We meet the intimate family of two, living in an isolated cabin. Solomon is born blind, but Nidia is there to ready him for the uncertain future. They hunt, guided to traps by sound. To keep him safe as they wander out into the woods, Nidia ties a long rope around his waist that remains tethered to their home.
Years later, she abandons him without explanation. Alone, Solomon abides by her three ominous rules: To always give back to the forest, to find comfort in their song when he feels like giving up, and to never, ever let go of the rope. Is there something truly dangerous in the woods or could his mother simply be afflicted with paranoia? The question remains as Solomon survives each day, unsure of what tomorrow may bring.
With a taut 80-minute runtime, Tethered thrives on effective tension. Daniel Robinette’s directorial debut is an impressive one, well-acted and written wtih a standout soundscape. The frenetic score of menacing drums and mournful strings adds to the atmospheric dread that constantly hangs over the forest.
Solomon’s vulnerability, alone and unable to see, adds to the anxiety as we fear what may happen if and when the rules are broken. Intrigue builds when Solomon meets Hank (Kareem Ferguson), the first person whom he had encountered in years. The hunter begins to discover secrets that the boy couldn’t see, inviting danger to them both. What terror truly lurks in the wilderness?
Watch the trailer now: