Addison Taylor (Isaac Simons) is a one-hit wonder. He's saddled with big expectations, however, and a serious case of writer's block is keeping him from following up on that one mega hit. When his manager suggests that some time away at a recently purchased lake house might be the cure for what ails him, Taylor heads out in search of some kind of a muse.
What he finds is both inspiring and terrifying.
Written and directedby Rufus Chaffee, The Muse takes a horrifying approach to an ages old question - "How far would you go for your success?"
Courtesy of a realistic and emotionally resonant from Isaac Simons, a real life singer/songwriter who supplies the film's songs and singing, The Muse works as a thought-provoking and anxiety-inducing horror flick that is all the more horrifying because it actually does feel like real life.
It becomes clear early on that Addison Taylor is not alone at the lake house, and to his credit Chaffee doesn't turn the film into a Mr. Obvious. Instead, he paints the story around Taylor's increasingly fractured mind and that, in turn, creates infinite possibilities for what's really going on here.
Simons gives a terrific performance as Taylor, conveying both the heart and soul of an artist and the inner torment that comes with watching one's success and identity slowly slipping away. He's surrounded by a solid supporting cast, as well, including Marguerite Insolia, Mike Pfaff and the rest of the supporting players.
D.P. Douglas Gordon lenses the film incredibly well, evoking both the intimacy of Taylor's psychological issues and the suspense required within the film's horror element. One must also give major kudos for Simons' terrific original music, which gives the film a soulfulness and energy often lacking in indie horror.
The Muse was awarded Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor at the Indie Gathering Film Festival, while also picking up a Special Recognition Award at the Boston International Film Festival. After its festival run, the film has now been made available through VOD and DVD channels by TwistFlix.