The Reel Review


This pseudo crime documentary sequel to 2021’s Horror in the High Desert focuses on a mystery surrounding a couple of missing women in the northeastern Nevada desert that occurs a year after the disappearance of the prior film’s subject, an avid outdoors enthusiast and popular YouTube vlogger.

Scene from Horror in the High Desert 2: Minerva

Blending one-on-one interviews and various types of found footage, writer/director Dutch Marich again effectively incorporates chilling sound and visuals to create spine-tingling tension and suspense on a shoestring budget, his story so convincing that you often forget it is fiction. What you don’t see is what scares you. The first half centers on the character Minerva Sound (Solveig Helene), a geology student who dies shortly after moving into a trailer in the remote desert. Suziey Block reprises her role from the first film as local investigative journalist Gal Roberts. Throughout the course of the film, the discovery of more found footage reveals someone – or something – sinister is targeting people in the desert. For viewers paying close attention it is chilling.

Brooke Bradshaw in Horror in the High Desert 2: Minerva

The film’s third act focuses on an unlucky motorist who goes missing the same night as Minerva’s death. Found dashcam footage and smartphone videos combine to create a building, spine-tingling sense of dread rather than jump scares. While the narrative itself isn’t always clear, Horror in the High Desert 2: Minerva effectively conjures those primal feelings of terror you get when you are in pitch darkness and KNOW someone or something is nearby. While the film won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, for fans of the found footage subgenre, Marich has proven himself to be a director to watch.


Filmmaker Dutch Marich in in the Eastern Nevada desert

• Writer/director Dutch Marich says the idea for Horror in the High Desert 2: Minerva came from driving past that trailer off the side of the road countless times, and thinking about how frightening it would be to live there so isolated and all alone.

• Marich says he plans to make several more sequels in his found footage horror franchise. His tentatively titled Horror in the High Desert 3: Firewatch is scheduled for a late 2023 release.

Ruth, Nevada had a population of 440 in 2010.

• Raised in Ruth, Nevada, Dutch Marich started directing horror movies 13 years ago. He now lives in Los Angeles.

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