Podcast: Richard Whitaker on ‘Landlocked’

July 6th, 2024 | By Matthew Monagle

Landlocked Movie

If the secret to low-budget cinema is using what you have, then writer-director Paul Owens deserves an award for turning his family videos into an ethereal exploration of memory and loss. Here to make the case for Landlocked is Austin Chronicle critic Richard Whittaker, who rejoins Certified Forgotten for a wide-ranging discussion that also covers the Alamo Drafthouse, theatrical distribution, and the Hellboy franchise.

But first, Landlocked. When Mason’s father dies, he leaves behind a single wish: that the home his sons grew up in will be demolished and the land sold by his children. But when Mason decides to visit his family home one last time, he discovers something incredible: a VHS camcorder that seems to capture Mason’s past through its lens. As Mason fills up video tape after video tape with his childhood memories, he soon finds himself sucked into the darkness at the center of the home – and stuck in a past that leaves no future for Mason and his brothers.

In this short excerpt from the episode, Richard explains how Landlocked creates a unique twist on the conventional ghost story:

I love ghost stories that aren’t just ghost stories. I love a good — you know, oh, there’s something spooky in the house. But the idea of a ghost is always that it is history catching up with you. And if you lose to the ghost, then you are being trapped in your own history, in your own previous actions. You cannot get away from it.

The Landlocked episode of the Certified Forgotten podcast is now available to stream on SpotifyApple Podcasts, or the podcast platform of your choice.

Matthew Monagle

Matthew is an Austin-based film critic. You can find his work as sites like Film School Rejects, The Playlist, SlashFilm, and the Austin Chronicle. He is also a member of the Austin Film Critics Association. Matt spends most of his free time doting on his dog and losing games of Slay the Spire.

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