SUSPENSION [FrightFest 2015]

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

What's old is new again as the night he came home rolls about all over again. Well, it's not Michael Myers, nor Halloween, but near enough... Suspension is John Carpenter's classic retooled for our modern age, in a world where stupid partying teenagers and dim local cops are as relevant as ever.

The Jamie Lee Curtis of the piece is troubled Emily, a high school student whose only means of stress relief are drawing gory images in her sketchbook. Bullied at school and misunderstood by the adults in her life, poor Emily has something of the Carrie White about her. Instead of a psychic power trip, however, it's her serial killer dad who'll be doing most of the murdering. The two are reunited one dark and moody night, while mum is working and Emily is left at home, babysitting her mute little brother. Various guests will come knocking throughout the night, but nobody's survival is guaranteed.

An atmospheric, grotesque retooling of Halloween (with a level of violence that almost rivals that of Rob Zombie's remake), the first half of Suspension is so good at times that its eventual crumbling into cliché and predictability is made all the more depressing. Fair enough, the high tension is sustained to the end, but viewers don't need a sixth sense to see where it's all going. That's a shame, because Ellen MacNevin does an exceptional job as Emily, even when the script isn't giving her all that much to do. A mid-movie scene in which she sings her little brother to sleep is one of the most haunting moments we've seen in a horror film all year.

But alas, for all its good intentions, the finale is just so wrong and so utterly misplaced, that it derails absolutely everything which has gone before. Here endeth the review: honestly, it's that bad.

CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JEFFERY SCOTT LANDO / SCREENPLAY: KEVIN MOSLEY / SCREENPLAY: ELLEN MACNEVIN, SAGE BROCKLEBANK, TAYLOR RUSSELL / RELEASE DATE: TBC


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