Mother of Movies is fortunate enough, that along with the films I am bestowed, they often come with a director’s statement. This was the first one I’ve come across that was just as creepy as the concept for Sator. Stemming from Director and writer Jordan Graham’s own narrative from his real life, he talks about a fable-like version of historical family history. The film for Sator, is interwoven with actual home footage. His grandmother was known for hearing auditory illusions, so was her mother and her mother’s mother. Graham’s real grandmother is featured in the film, too. He stated that by the time the movie was finished, she remembered no one in the family. But Nonni vividly remembers Sator. She also remains steadfast that her belief in this creature was not part of madness but a very real entity.
Chills, actual chills ran through me. What’s more, as I sat alone in my home, my garage door remote decided to have one of its episodes. As I heard my garage door open and close again in the night, I could barely move. But I digress, back to the movie.
To say the movie Sator is atmospherically scary would actually do it a disservice. I don’t want to hype anyone up that might watch it and think it’s the opposite of that. The first film I was reminded of was The Taking of Deborah Logan, one of my favorite possession films. There is some excellent use of darkness at play here. Photographic evidence is repeatedly studied as Adam searches for the truth.
Additionally, the sound design as the story unfolds with scenes in the woods, dreams and the vast forest gives the whole thing an otherwordly feel. It crosses between the grandmother lucid and talking to rambling on a tape. Or is she rambling? Whatever it was, I was buying it. The camera work is up close and personal. Often the focal point weaves in and through rooms as if someone is searching for something. It’s creepy, and I was easily startled by the slightest thing. Then there’s the auditory whispering as family members look out into the darkness.
Adam is searching for answers and I don’t know if I want him to find them. Some of the horror movie is filmed in black and white which gives the impression Sator took place a long time ago. In any case, it adds to the tension that mounts as Nonni tells her anecdotes about things being moved in the house.
“Sator is a human being that lives around here somewhere. Sator manages to get inside my brain and talk to me.”Nonni whispers into a tape recoder in SATOR
Whoever Sator is, tells her that they know everything that happens within this close-knit family group and warns of what needs to be done.
This particular film hits similarly to stories like Relic and Hereditary but with a much more supernatural feel to it. Instead of toying with the idea that Nonni might be mentally ill and playing into the horror elements, it slowly convinces you the story is real. It plays out more like a documentary that glimmers tiny fragments of sadness with a grandmother not remembering those in her life. But there is no denying her belief in Sator.
I give Sator
3.5 watch your nonni carefully out of 5
Sator Trailer & Where to Watch Below
The film is written, directed, produced, edited, scored, and lensed by Graham. It took him seven years to complete Sator.
Starring: Michael Daniel, Aurora Lowe, Gabriel Nicholson, and Rachel Johnson alongside Graham’s late grandmother, June Peterson.
- SATOR will be available to purchase or rent on February 9th, 2021
- PRE-ORDER LINK: https://geni.us/SatorFilm
- Sator opens digitally in North America on February 9th, 2021
- Repped by Yellow Veil Pictures
- Mother of Movies acquired Sator as a screener.
Sator, coupled with a lovely tin of Sator in brine from Amazon makes the perfect snack for watching movies.