Black Site (2018) poster

Black Site (2018)


UK. 2018.


Director/Screenplay/Visual Effects – Tom Paton, Producers – George Burt, Craig Hinde, Mikel Iriarte, Ashley Paton, Tom Paton & Alexa Waugh, Photography – George Burt, Music – Max Sweiry, Makeup Design – Nadia Harrison, Production Design – Matt Page. Production Company – Airpick Pictures.


Samantha Schnitzler (Ren Reid), Mike Beckingham (Sam Levy), Angela Dixon (Jenifer Wilkinson), Kris Johnson (Erebus), Bentley Kalu (John ‘Jay’ Austin), Phoebe Robinson-Galvin (Ker), Andy Gibbins (Agent Joe Washbourne), Sophia Del Pizzo (Danforth), Jessica-Jane Stafford (Agent Ackerman), Lauren Ashley-Carter (Agent Leonhart)


Ren Reid works with a US government agency that operates a black site to deal with incursions of Elder Gods, beings as old as the universe that sometimes inhabit human form. Various means of imprisoning and banishing the gods have been developed by the agency. Ren is disappointed that her application for field duty is declined due to the fact that her parents were victims of an Elder God. The facility now receives Sam Levy, a tenth level Deportation Officer, come to speak the memorised spells that will despatch Erebus, a captured Elder God. Ren is assigned to sit with Sam until he is called. The imprisoned Erebus taunts the agents that he will be freed. At the same time, the cultists that worship Erebus break in to the facility. As the cultists force their way past the security protocols and agents are massacred, Ren is left protecting Sam, the only one who can despatch Erebus. However, Erebus is certain that Ren is part of his plan.

British director Tom Paton first appeared with the post-holocaust film Pandorica (2016). He has since remained with genre material, directing the likes of the vampire film Redwood (2017), the timeloop film Stairs (2019), the space opera G-Loc (2020), the non-genre military action film 400 Bullets (2021) and the psycho-thriller Assailant (2022).

It is not long into Black Site when you get a distinct Lovecraftian vibe. (See Lovecraftian Films for more detail). The film has an original premise of a secret government agency that deals with manifestations of elder gods on the Earth and a team of soldiers and occult experts that has been assembled to drive them back where they came from. There is something here of Charles Stross’s highly entertaining The Laundry Files, a series of books about a secret British bureaucracy that deals with the supernatural (which would make for a great film or tv series someday).

Ren Reid )Samantha Schnitzler) and Sam Levy (Mike Beckingham) in Black Site (2018)
Ren Reid )Samantha Schnitzler) and Sam Levy (Mike Beckingham) in Black Site (2018)

After a good set-up, the film turns into a lean machine as the facility is invaded just as the team are preparing to exorcise an Elder God who is possessing human form. As the god who calls himself one of the “seventh oldest things in the universe”, Kris Johnson has some magnificent dialogue. The scenes skulking around the halls of the facility and trying to deal with the various security protocols and wards locking off areas are conducted with fine tension.

In particular, Samantha Schnitzler, who works as a stunt person in between acting stints, is great once she gets into action, tackling people with a ferocity that belies her slender build. She makes the action scenes. Also very good is Angela Dixon who gives a tough and badass performance as the boss of the black site.

Trailer here

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