THE HORROR

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Marshall

While staying at their deceased parents’ lakeside cabin, twins Isabelle and Malcolm survive a home invasion by a pair of masked killers. Both adversely affected, they come to terms with the attack in different ways, Isabelle by talking it out with a therapist and Malcolm by ceaselessly hacking into the ice of the frozen lake, searching for the mask dropped into it.

Have you even given much thought about what happens to the survivors of a slasher movie after the credits roll? And this doesn’t mean just checking in with them a couple of years later for the sequel when the terror begins anew, but actually giving measured consideration regarding how living through such a traumatic experience would psychologically affect a person.

This is exactly what The Horror does. The title is as purposefully ambiguous as it is generic, referring not only to the attack itself (which begins and ends in the span of a minute), but also the aftermath where the twins attempt to pick their lives back up and carry on, the mental scars of the fateful night still deep and raw.

As Isabelle’s talks with her therapist relate her growing acceptance of the hand life has dealt her, they also reveal her growing fears for Malcolm’s sanity, and after we eventually learn of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the twins’ parents, you wonder if he ever even had a chance. As Malcolm’s search becomes increasingly desperate, the bleak winter desolation practically becomes a visual representation of his mental state as his obsessive compulsion pushes him ever closer to his breaking point.

Unlike the histrionic slashers, The Horror psychologically deconstructs, there is no gleeful rationale given of why the invaders decided to put on creepy gas masks and attack people, nor seemingly any reason as to why Isabelle and Malcolm were the ones targeted. We never even learn who they were. Their presence was an aberration, something that could not have been predicted or planned for, but just reacted to. As well as there being no big twist or shocking revelation to be had, The Horror doesn’t even have any real resolution. And that is pretty much the whole point. For those still standing when a slasher movie ends life will go on, unalterably tainted forever. While they can certainly be said to have survived their ordeal, whether or not they will ever escape it is another matter entirely. 

THE HORROR / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JERRY J WHITE III / SCREENPLAY: RAYMOND CREAMER, SARAH CARMAN, JERRY J WHITE III / STARRING: CALLIE OTT, RAYMOND CREAMER, SCHELL M PETERSON, CHRIS OLIVER, LEXI MOELLER / RELEASE DATE: TBC

 


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