When a snowstorm hits unexpectedly, six teenagers are trapped at Eastbrook High to wait it out. None of them want to be there, and each of them as a secret to hide. As time goes on, frustrations and stress increase, which causes the secret stories to come to light one by one. However, the storm also continues to worsen, which threatens their safety. Will they be able to make it out before it’s too late?
Production Quality (2 points)
Although it appears the budget was somewhat limited, Secrets in the Snow has a mostly good production, including fine audio, video, and camera quality. However, the soundtrack is a bit generic and loud at times, and the sets, locations, and props are understandably limited by design, even though they are well-utilized for the most part. There is also some inconsistent lighting, as well as some randomly shaky moments of camera work, but the editing is good. As a whole, this is an above average production that could have been slightly better than it was.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
John and Brittany Goodwin have always attempted to develop their characters through backstories, so the effort to do this in this film is definitely commendable. However, since this is a heavily character-based plot with almost nothing but the characters to hold it up, we needed to see much deeper character development and growth through meaningful conversations and flashbacks. The dialogue therein needed to be less shallow and less scripted, and there are too many wasted scenes on activities that don’t build characters or help us to understand who they are as people. Even still, this is a non-typical and mostly creative plot structure that demonstrates the true potential the Goodwins have as both screenwriters and film makers. As they continue to grow in their careers, we expect great things from what they have to offer as they continue to deepen their character development over time because we know that they mean well and want to do their best.
Acting Quality (2 points)
Like other parts of this film, the cast members also mean well, but some of the line delivery and emotions come off as overly practiced and not natural enough. Some performances seem to stilted and measured while some lines appear to be read. However, there is plenty of positive here as most of the cast members appear to be comfortable with their character roles and seem to be committed to the process. As a whole, this is an average film, which is great for a debut.
After this film and If You’re Gone, the Goodwins and their team are definitely on the cusp of something great. Once they are able to deepen their characters and refine their plot structures, they will definitely be a force to be reckoned with since they have already rectified their production and acting shortcomings. As the Goodwins continue to produce their own source material for films, we anticipate better things from them in the near future.
Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points