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“The Coldness” is a chilling treat for true crime lovers eager to become home detectives and follow the twisted clues in this disturbing case.

The Coldness

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In 1999, in Jersey City, there was a case so haunting, unforgettable, and shrouded in mystery surrounding a young woman’s supposed suicide. It’s a case so unnerving that it has followed the homicide detectives involved in that case to this present day.

Nick (Paul Parducci) was on that very case. Years later, after tragically becoming widowed, he retired from the force, living with the aftermath of being shot in the knee at work. Nick discovers a new case that is a perfect repetition of that old case. This resurrects the old detective in him, sending him to Los Angeles to begin an investigation.

Luckily for us, Nick has decided to document this whole ordeal, sending him down a dark path while meeting all kinds of characters and some old fellow detectives.

Paralleling the ’99 case, a young woman has locked herself in a fridge with a broken thermostat, freezing herself to death. Our only clue is the same disturbing note being left at the scene, simply reading: The Coldness.

Nick begins his journey tracking down any leads he can, from old partners to the ex-boyfriend of the victim. Finally, we meet Cassandra Yule (played by Ana Zimhart), a YouTuber with a vast knowledge of sigils, chaos magic, and all things Magik.

Cassandra shows Nick exactly all the things he hadn’t seen within the case, driving him to the point of using this dark magic for himself to feel closer to the victims and uncover how they got to where they were.

This is an engaging film that lets you do your own detective work, attempting to connect the dots and find the answer before the character does. 

With Nick going down a very realistic YouTube deep-dive that we have all done before, you see the highs and lows of this case. After constantly being urged to let it go, forget about the case, and move on by those around him, Nick continues pushing everything to its limits.

I doubt this film would have been as compelling without such a strong lead. However, that’s precisely what we get. By the end of The Coldness, you feel pretty connected to Nick.

In his search for answers to questions he shouldn’t be asking, Nick messes with powers so great that he cannot recover from them.

At the heart of this film is a tragic tale of loss and the extremes someone will go to get what they want.

What begins as a simple detective case quickly turns into a grief-stricken man just trying anything to feel something.

With dire consequences, the ending of this movie will bring a tear to your eye, leaving the viewer in silence with only the chance to think about how we got here.

Directed by Gustavo Sampaio, The Coldness is a unique found-footage horror film that delves into the realm of witchcraft and the occult. Horror fans should note, however, that there aren’t many onscreen horror elements, and it feels much more like a slow-burn true-crime mockumentary. As long as you know what to expect going in, you’re likely to really enjoy this one.

Led by a strong performance from Paul Parducci, who also wrote the film, it’s a must-see for any lover of mystery crime thrillers.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 4
The Coldness World Premiered at the 2024 Unnamed Footage Festival (UFF), where it was screened for this review.

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