A lesbian couple gets married in a haunted house in “Brides to Be”

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Lesbian themed horror films seem to be all the rage in 2015-2016. From international thrillers like Sweden’s Alena to the recent Hollywood release The Neon Demon to the indie effort Sisters of the Plague, it’s clear the film industry is interested in us beyond vampire lore. Well, another indie film can be added to that list and will soon be available for you to watch: Brides to Be.

Brides to Be is the follow up to the popular short film Together Forever, which saw adorable couple Robin (Angela DiMarco) and Jenna (Carollani Sandberg) get engaged. Apparently, the natural next step was to have them book their wedding at a haunted house (Really. The filmmakers have said the movie was shot in an “actual” haunted house.). To be fair, it’s Robin’s dream venue and she couldn’t pass up the chance to get married there after it’s been closed for years. I wonder why…

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Now while Jenna is completely in love with Robin, as evidenced by the two regularly being all over each other, she’s definitely having some pre-wedding jitters. As in she’s having panic attacks that she hasn’t told Robin about and she can’t bring herself to write her vows. But away to get married they go!

Accompanying them is Jenna’s best friend of 20 years, Nate (Jesse Lee Keeter). Nate is a self-described feminist and an all-around good guy, but he’s also always carried a torch for Jenna. In any case, he’s on camera and sandwich duty.

When they arrive at the house late at night, it’s clear they’re being watched, although they don’t know it yet. They’re more concerned with the venue owner, Bob (Linas Phillips), who’s quite the oddball and doesn’t have things near ready enough for a wedding that’s supposed to take place in the morning.

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Realizing they need help, Robin tries to phone up her dad, but the call won’t go through. Instead of really questioning that, she decides to just start setting things up. Almost as if sensing the manual labor ahead of her, Jenna decides to take a nap right then.

Not that it was peaceful. Dreams featuring strange voices and flickering lights never are. Waking up to see Bob creeping around her wasn’t that much better either.

You’d think sex with her fiancée would cheer her up, but Jenna’s being all kinds of emotionally distant. After some initial reluctance, she does get into it, though. It’s certainly nice to watch, but it’s the first of many times throughout this film I wondered how they have time for all this when they arrived at the house late and have to get up early.

Perhaps I should’ve be more concerned with Bob hanging outside their door while they were being intimate. To be fair, my first thought was, “Pervert!” But after Jenna answers a distressed and unintelligible phone call and he leaves as soon as she hangs up, who knows what’s going on?

Eventually, Robin and Jenna decide Nate could probably use some company and the team regroups. Nothing out of the ordinary happens until Robin hears Jenna commenting on wedding expenses and she suddenly yells out in this demonic voice that she’s sick of Jenna complaining about how much the wedding is costing. I’ll tell you right now that she’s not the only character to get possessed in this film, and there’s always some truth to what they say while in that state.

Robin is then clutching her head in excruciating pain. She’s hearing something the other two can’t and it’s driving her insane. Still, she doesn’t take Jenna’s advice to go to a hospital and in that evil voice again tells her she’s just looking for an excuse not to marry her. And yet they all chalk it up to stress and go back inside!

With Robin resting, that leaves the best friends with some one-on-one time. Nate asks Jenna to get real with him, who in turn tells him she’s scared and that she thinks she’s not good enough for Robin. “She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” she says. Fortunately, Nate is able to put his feelings aside and gives her the absolute best pep talk.

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The good times, however, don’t last long. Something seems to guide Jenna into doing some exploring and she ends up in a room alone. Well, alone except for some zombie bride thing!

Of course when she tries to show Nate, the zombie bride seems to be just some mannequin. To his credit, he doesn’t tell her she’s crazy. Instead, he goes on this long rant about the mind playing tricks on us. I’m sure that’s exactly what this is…

What it’s not is a good time for shower sex. So why has Jenna joined Robin in the shower? She obviously hasn’t and soon whatever that was is gone and Robin’s about to be burnt alive in there. Hearing her screams, Jenna tries to get to her but a force keeps closing the door. When she eventually gets inside, she finds Robin terrified and confused but ultimately relieved.

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And while I understand that near-death experiences might cause one to act unusually, I can’t understand why Robin chooses to go through with Nate’s photo shoot at that exact moment. Also, exactly what time is it?

It is a gorgeous scene though. They’re all dressed up and looking into each other’s eyes. But suddenly Jenna can’t breathe and it’s not because her fiancée is a stunner. Is it just another panic attack?

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Well, what about the person or thing that took photos of Nate photographing them? Yeah, that creepy surprise was revealed. Naturally, they confront Bob. It’s at this point that the shit really hits the fan. Blood and deaths follow.

Yet despite its closing moments, Brides to Be is not a very scary movie overall. The film is much more about the characters at its centre and the relationships between them than it is about the paranormal elements that interrupt that. And while the movie suffers from several exaggerated moments, it’s ultimately a successful low-budget effort, which is often a prerequisite to becoming a beloved horror flick.

Brides to Be will be available through bridestobemovie.com beginning July 1.

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