SATOR is a new horror movie premiering at Fantasia 2019. It’s a low-budget movie that was 5 years in the making. Jordan Graham directed, wrote, edited, and made the score for this movie. And it is absolutely amazing! Read why you should not miss this one in our Sator review below.
Sator is a low-budget horror movie that just premiered at Fantasia 2019 after having been five (yes, 5!) years in the making.
Since it’s a low-budget production, one person (Jordan Graham) did pretty much everything in terms of making the movie. It would appear that he’s somewhat of a perfectionist. And his efforts have clearly paid off because Sator is actually a masterpiece of minimalistic horror.
While it’s not jump scares and craziness, Jordan Graham managed to create a mood and ambiance that had us sitting on edge. And yes, we definitely did jump in our seats several times. The sound alone is so damn gorgeous which is a sign of a dedicated and brilliant filmmaker.
Usually, low-budget movies (even the best of them) suffer when it comes to sound. Sator does not! In fact, it’s one of its many strengths. Read more in our Sator review here.
There’s a new horror master
Whenever we watch a low-budget movie – where one person did pretty much everything – we do so with fingers crossed and bated breath. Honestly, it’s a crapshoot.
Either it’s going to be a real mess of a snooze fest or it turns out to be a true gem. Fortunately, Sator is definitely the latter.
While watching Sator, I would be impressed with the use of sounds and score. Also, I’d love the way a scene was shot or be impressed with the way it was edited. Afterward, I went to check who had been in charge of these elements. All of them are done by writer-director, Jordan Graham.
Based on a true story
While it might not seem like it, Sator is actually based on a true story. The grandmother of writer-director, Jordan Graham, did believe she could talk to something or someone named “Sator”.
Even when she ultimately died, after having suffered from dementia for years, she could still remember Sator.
This kind of true backstory alone is enough to get my curiosity. But I did not know this until after having watched the movie. Basically, I don’t want too much influencing my opinion, so I tend to read the press kit after watching a movie.
The cast of Sator
Of course, I should also mention the cast of Sator. It might be tiny, but it is very powerful in its pure and simple portrayals.
Jordan Graham has actually done a feature film prior to this one titled Specter. It’s from 2012 and the reason I mention this now is that many of the cast members of Sator were also in Spectre. Again, this is a good sign and immediately reminds me of another favorite director of mine, Mike Flanagan.
Both Michael Daniel and Gabriel Nicholson, who are brothers (Pete and Adam, respectively) were in Spectre. In Sator, they portray very different kinds of characters, but they do also interact very well. To my surprise, this is only the third acting credit for both of them. The first for both being a short film, Midground (2009) by Jordan Graham and Trevor Adrian.
Hopefully, we’ll also get to see both Gabriel Nicholson and Michael Daniel again in whatever Jordan Graham comes up with next.
I also have to mention June Peterson who portrays Nani. She’s the one who can talk to Sator. This is the only credit on June Peterson’s IMDb page, but she definitely managed to win me over with this performance.
Watch Sator when you get the chance!
Look, Sator is a different kind of horror movie for sure. It’s minimalist in many ways and has slow-burner qualities that are not for everyone. But the horror vibe and intensity of it all should be elements everyone can appreciate. You just need to focus on watching the movie and not be on Facebook or Twitter while watching it.
For this reason alone, a screening in a dark theater would be perfect. However, we actually watched a screener on a TV (with a great sound system and blackout curtains) and it still had us grabbed from the beginning.
I cannot wait to see what Jordan Graham comes up with next. Hopefully, he’ll get a budget to work with along with an awesome crew, so we won’t have to wait another five years for a new movie. But hey, even if we have to wait, I expect it will be worth the wait.
Sator had its world premiere at Fantasia 2019 on July 21, 2019. It will be out on Digital in the US from February 9, 2021.
Director: Jordan Graham
Writer: Jordan Graham
Stars: Michael Daniel, Rachel Johnson, Aurora Lowe, Gabe Nicholson, June Peterson, Wendy Taylor
Adam (Gabe Nicholson) lives a lonely existence in a cabin in a desolate forest, checking “Deer Cam” feeds on his computer and occasionally receiving visits from his brother Pete (Michael Daniel). Another family member looms large in his life: his grandmother “Nani” (June Petersom), who has long been a receptor for a spirit she calls Sator. This presence has been getting into her head and “training me, teaching me to be a person,” Nani says, and Adam slowly discovers that it has a more malevolent purpose as well. No longer confined to Nani’s psyche, Sator begins manifesting in other ways, threatening the lives of Adam and his troubled family.