When seeking a beautiful yet lonely location for a dark and dangerous murder mystery movie, where would you go?
Alaska? A Mexican jungle?
What about Westwold?
Canadian filmmaker and director Brayden DeMorest-Purdy brought to life the dark psychological thriller Beyond the Woods using the isolatingly beautiful landscapes of the Thompson-Nicola region.
The plot follows Detective Reeves as he investigates the death of Laura Bennett and the disappearance of her brother Jack.
Filming for Beyond the Woods took place in Westwold, with a few studio days between the valley and Vancouver.
Director DeMorest-Purdy (who also wrote and produced the film under Nerdy Kid Productions) was on the hunt for a location that not only brought the characters of his dark film into solitude, but juxtaposed the heavy themes with beauty.
Westwold was everything he was looking for.
“I really wanted to put these characters in isolation. I wanted to find beautiful landscapes to contrast that they are good people who were put in bad situations,” DeMorest-Purdy says.
Westwold was far more than just a setting for the film, DeMorest-Purdy saw the landscape as a character of itself.
He spent months scouting for locations that would fit the theme and says the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission was a huge help in putting it all together to bring the sombre film to light.
Scouting locations seemed to all fall into place once it was narrowed down to locations within the Thompson-Nicola region.
“The film gods were among us for sure,” he jokes.
DeMorest-Purdy is currently working on two new projects, a gangster film and a World War II film, to be announced in the near future.
Beyond the Woods is part of the 2020 Kamloops Film Fest. The film will play Saturday, March 14 at 1 p.m. For more on the film festival, click HERE.
— Cailyn Mocci is a freelance reporter for KamloopsMatters.com