“Beneath the mist, among the embers, lies Black River Meadow and its damned descendants.”
Today is Halloween, and it marks the release of the first instalment of Gareth David-Lloyd’s Black River Meadow, a three-part horror tale is sure to have you screaming in terror once you enter its dark secluded world.
Episode 1 – The Hiding
Black River Meadow sprung from the mind of Gareth David-Lloyd, who is perhaps best known for his role in Torchwood where he portrayed, Ianto Jones, Captain Jack Harkness’ lover. In Black River Meadow, the talented actor wrote, directed, starred and produced this eerie narrative. This Is not a modern horror full of violence, blood and gore. Instead, David-Lloyd has developed an ambience of dread and loathing that will twist your own aversions inside your mind.
The episode opens with a beautiful and long pan of the Welsh countryside created by with the assistance of camera drone. Once the camera has wound through the untouched terrain to small enclave where the Ynysddu Hotel sits, the audience has been transported into the dark mystical environment where the village of Black River Meadow exists.
Beneath the inn in a locked cellar is a couple and their young daughter. We are about to witness a horrible crime, slowly and painstakingly pieced together brick by brick. But there are consequences for this crime, and after the witnesses and the evidence disappear as a young writer finds himself paying the price for these sins.
A Universal Tale
Black River Meadow is a crowd-funded story but despite lack of a huge budget, Gareth David-Lloyd along with his co-producer Robin Bell created a well-crafted and brilliant thriller that will terrify all who watch. The story plays on our universal fears. It lacks dialogue instead used visuals and effect to set the mood and cleverly making it accessible to a worldwide audience.
Without the benefit of spoken word, a film must rely heavily on the talents of its actors. And Black River Meadows’ cast is stellar. As writer and director, Gareth David-Lloyd knew exactly what he wanted on screen and delivered in his role flawlessly. Jamie Kenna’(Eastenders), fresh of his portrayal of Little John in Robin Hood: The Rebellion, portrays Richie, the young father. His expressions of pain and grief drive the first half of the episode while Rachel Dunston, Elerie, his wife, strikes a perfect balance of determination and agony. David-Lloyd’s daughter, Lily Lloyd completed the family in her role as Lowri, a character that will fill you with both pity and unease.
A Talented Creative Team
Black River Meadow benefited from an accomplished creative team that developed the otherworld feel to the episode. The muted and grey palate was threaded throughout the film and the makeup, costume and design, from Jordan Graff and Liv Cheung, only enhanced the feeling of a village lost, existing out of time.
The music, sound and direction created the drama and tension with chilling effect. The silence was interrupted by the infrequent scraping of tools against a brick, and haunting ethereal music score from Nicolas Harrison built the terror and dread. As needed in such a story, the pace was slow and deliberate allowing the ambience to evolve into a full-blown nightmare. Occasionally some scenes would have been enhanced if the silence and the moment stretched and held longer. But these were minor points against an episode that was a well-executed
This is the first episode of the three-part story. Future episodes are under development and will be delivered with the next year. As a first venture into the world of film-making, Dark Valley Production has constructed a professional and slick story in Black River Meadow appropriate for All Hallows’ Eve.
To find out more about Black River Meadow see:
Black River Meadow
There is so much mystery and drama in the Welsh Valleys and the Brecon Beacons.
When conditions are just so. When the mist hangs in such a way that paths dissolve, valleys breath and mountains sway, feelings of awe, dread, wonder and terror can consume a person.
Bewitched since a child by this dreamlike landscape I delved into its rich history and mythology. I discovered countless stories of horror and loss, of heroism and great sacrifice, of community and love, of murder and bloodshed. So much loss of life in these mountains. So much blood spilled on this land. What if the land remembered?
What if all that blood-soaked history were to manifest itself in a place. A place that is shrouded in mist and rooted in death. A place that can only be found by the chosen. Those tied by ancestry to its unspeakable beginnings. The damned.
Using the stunning backdrop of the South Wales countryside and merging history and mythology our goal is to create the first episode in a noir horror triplet designed to whet appetites for a much bigger future project. One that, if you join us on our journey, you can be a part of.
Come with us. Buy a one-way ticket to Black River Meadow.
Cast and Crew
- Richie – Jamie Kenna
- Elerie – Rachel Dunston
- David – Gareth David-Lloyd
- Lowri – Introducing Lily Lloyd
- Executive Producers – Gareth David-Lloyd & Robin Bell
- Writer – Gareth David-Lloyd
- Director – Gareth David-Lloyd
- Director of Photography – Leonie Abisgold-Raynor
- Assistant Director – Rhys Jones
- Designer – Livy Cheung
- Costume Designer – Jordan Graff
- Makeup Designer – Jordan Graff
- Prosthetics – Jordan Graff
- Sound – Andrew White
- Music – Nicolas Harrison
- Editors – Gareth David-Lloyd and Leonie Abisgold-Raynor