An indigenous community is tormented by a vengeful spirit in Don't Say Its Name. Peace officer Mary Stonechild (Madison Walsh) is called in after local activist Kharis Redwater (Sheena Kaine) is killed in a hit and run, which absolutely devastates her mother Mary Lynn (Carla Fox). Shortly afterwards, a number of people begin turning up dead in gruesome ways and Mary deputizes park ranger Stacey Cole (Sera-Lys McArthur), who has the expertise and firepower to track such a threat. It is soon discovered that the perpetrator is the vengeful spirit of Kharis, who is targeting anyone related or sympathetic to the mining company WEC, which just acquired a drilling agreement in the area.
Don't Say Its Name is a supernatural horror film from director and co-writer Rueben Martell, which is set in a snowbound Indigenous community, which is threatened by an incoming strip mine, which is coming in without proper approval from the community. After a number of individuals involved with the mining company WEC die brutal deaths, officer Mary Stonechild enlists the help of military veteran Stacey Cole (Sera-Lys McArthur), who along with local elder Carson (Julian Black Antelope), tracks the killer and discovers it to be the vengeful spirit of the recent murder Kharis Redwater. Trying to keep the supernatural element of this case a secret of white police office Adam (Justin Lewis), Beth and Stacey try to find a way to stop the spirit, especially after it sets its eyes on Beth's nephew Ben (Samuel Marty).
Despite some low-quality special effects that leave a lot to be desired, Don't Say Its Name places Rueben Martell alongside Jeff Barnaby when it comes to developing horror films told from an Indigenous perspective. With the films' white characters depicted as either victims, villains, or just plain naive, the spiritual nature of Don't Say Its Name is never questioned by its protagonists, providing the film with a very unique perspective.
Don't Say Its Name is streaming as part of the virtual 2021 Fantasia Film Festival
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