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A mysterious drug sends art student MARLA SINGER into
a dark trip between reality and delusion.

Isolated in an old house, pushed by cryptic dreams and haunted by a nameless thing, she soon realizes that denial won’t end her nightmare. On her search for answers she discovers a disturbing truth…

After two years abroad, art student MARLA SINGER returns to her abandoned family house. Her parents died some time ago and she wants to say goodbye to her past. But a party with old friends and a mysterious drug send her into a nightmare, from which she never awakes again…

From now on, during five nights, Marla gets terrorized by an unspeakable threat from the dark, while making strange discoveries in her otherwise well-known house. Dismissing her experiences as aftermath from bad pills, she tries to focus on her semester project as good as possible. But the night always comes…

She gets support from her former housekeeper EMMA, who consoles her over the phone and from her ex-boyfriend ERIC, who desperately tries to deny that he still has feelings for her. Her old friend BARBARA further helps to create a comforting atmosphere. Or are they all part of the problem…?

Soon, more questions arise: Why did the prank-loving party guest JEAN hide the strong analgesic PENTAGOL in her house? Are her disturbing experiences really drug-induced hallucinations? And who is that BRIDGE GIRL that enters her dreams?

The more Marla looks for distraction, the more she realizes that everything is connected…

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Try before you buy

Watch the first 30 minutes of BEYOND THE BRIDGE completely free on YouTube. Follow MARLA SINGER on her travel back home, to her welcome party and into the mysterious nightmare. If you enjoyed it, you can instantly buy and watch the complete movie at this website or at your favorite VoD outlet. Have fun!

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A diverse experience

BEYOND THE BRIDGE is a psycho-thriller with horror and mystery elements, but it’s not your typical jumpscare shocker, haunted-house horror or torture porn. While it starts out with all the classical elements, the plot soon takes a fresh direction.

BEYOND THE BRIDGE puts strong emphasize on the psychological dimension of its plot. Says writer-director DANIEL P. SCHENK: “Ultimately, BEYOND THE BRIDGE is a story about a trauma and about a horrible way to deal with it. I used every possible device to factor that trauma into the movie’s audiovisual fabric.” We see the world through Marla’s eyes, and her eyes only, which gives us a chilling insight into a twisted mind. The production team went even so far to let Marla psycho-analyze by a befriended psychologist, to gain a deeper understanding of the depicted mental phenomena. You can read the analysis here, but only in German – as if it was done by the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud himself 😉

Without spoiling too much, the plot deals with an abortion from the past. In its psychologically intense examination of the event and its aftermath, the movie raises more than just a few questions regarding prgegnancy termination. Pro-choice or pro-life? That’s up to you.

The story was heavily influenced by the famous SILENT HILL gaming franchise. It’s a surreal survival-horror-game where the protagonist gets stuck in a mysterious town, which turns his psyche inside out. Director DANIEL P. SCHENK wanted to transcend its distinct feeling into the movie world. In the following clip, he talks about the methods he used to achieve that goal. #SilentHill

The whole story is dominated by MARLA SINGER, a young art student who returns to her family house after her parent’s death. Unlike most horror films, she is not characterized as a helpless victim. She tries to finish her semester project despite her grief and as the psycho-horror around her peaks, she doesn’t shy away. She even tries to reconquer her ex-boyfriend Eric, whom she left for undisclosed reasons. She is a pro-active, self-determined and somehow enigmatic woman. Powerfully portrayed by MAYA SCHENK, who herself is an independent DJane and electronic music producer in London. In the following clip, she and director DANIEL P. SCHENK talk about Marla’s relationship to Eric:

BEYOND THE BRIDGE is a highly compressed movie. It contains a lot of themes and layers and it keeps a lot of its details hidden at first. It overwhelms you. Watching it a second time, and even a third time, will most likely be a rewarding enterprise. Watch it along with friends, as there will definitely be need for talks.

While we are not claiming that a 10.000 € (= no-budget) movie production executed by first- and second time filmmakers is always good, we are making no secret of that fact neither. The 5-year-long production was as much an odyssee as protagonist MARLA SINGER’S delusional trip was for herself. This stuff is as indie as it gets. If you like to support independent artists and if you worship the diversity they bring to the table, there’s really no way around our movie. #SupportIndieFilm

It’s a special movie, absolutely worthwhile watching. You’re in?

This movie is NOT for you, if…

  • you’re looking for a blood-and-gore shocker.
  • you don’t like to be scared.
  • you absolutely under no circumstances can tolerate young children in a psycho-horror environment.
  • you expect Hollywood Blockbuster standards.
  • you’re not comfortable with downloading or streaming your films via plattforms like Vimeo, Amazon, iTunes, etc.

The 5-year long production odyssee

Filmmaker and Novelist DANIEL P. SCHENK (*1984), best known amongst gamers worldwide as director of comedy shorts A GAMER’S DAY and THE CHEAT REPORT, enters for his first feature film the psycho-thriller genre.

Inspired by the surreal flair of the Silent Hill gaming franchise, Protagonist MARLA SINGER’S dark trip between reality and delusion is a tour-de-force through her deepest fears.

Schenk casted his own sisters for the main roles as well as the young actors THOMAS KOCH, ELEANOR BUECHLER and JEAN-NOEL MOLINIER to form a small and dedicated ensemble, set against the treacherous idyll of Fribourg/Switzerland.

During a five-year-long odysee, which for the creators was as exhausting as MARLA’s odysee was for herself – and with a budget of a mere 10.000 Euros nearly as insane – they carefully realized their daunting vision completely free of any studio support. Instead, some dozen “PowerSupporters” helped kickstart the project in 2010.

Daniel P. Schenk wrote, directed and edited the film, while his director of photography and long-term friend ROBERT STAFFL did the producing. MAYA SCHENK, now emerging music producer in the London club scene, not only gave her stunning debut as MARLA SINGER, but additionally created MARLA SINGER’s illustrations by herself and contributed many of her songs to the score. She also co-developed the story along with her little sister and co-actress CAROLINA SCHENK.

Do you want to write about our production and do you need more information? Download our EPK @!

Enjoy a mysteriously driving soundtrack

The movie’s score completely consists of pre-recorded tracks, ranging from techno tracks over dark ambient soundscapes up to very melancholic pieces (and even some trip hop). During a year long search, director DANIEL P. SCHENK found a wide array of talented underground artists (with the exception of “dark ambient” legend LUSTMORD, who claims vast popularity). It became a unique and very intense selection. Have a listen:

Oh and remember the movie’s proximity to the SILENT HILL gaming franchise? Lots of tracks were selected for their similiarity to Akira Yamaoka’s great game score.

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