CURTAIN [FrightFest 2015]

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

Hard sells don't come much harder than that of Curtain, a horror film about, yep, a shower curtain. Or, if you want to be specific about it, the absence of a shower curtain. Tired of the nursing life, world-weary Danni starts over again, taking a job as a chugger (charity mugger; you know the type) and relocates to a poky flat with a mattress on the floor and persistently disappearing shower curtains. Ooh, spooky.

As horror movie set-ups go, it's not exactly the Necronomicon Ex Mortis or haunted videotapes, but it's from these innocuous beginnings that one of the smartest and most likeable films of the year emerges. To say much more would be to spoil some great surprises, but suffice to say that Curtain packs in an Evil Dead-esque sense of energy (complete with visual flourishes) and a story that should have viewers hooked until the end. As a character work, it's second to none, with Danni and Tim (Danni Smith and Tim Lueke) keenly drawn, likeable and flawed in all the right places. Smith does particularly well as Danni; her blunt, slightly withdrawn and distant character isn't the most personable (certainly not when we describe her like that) but the actress really sells her vulnerability and softer side. Lueke, in a role that could have turned out awfully annoying is a fun, vaguely adorable sidekick. It's refreshing that Curtain doesn't try to shoehorn a romance into the pair's relationship, instead depicting a sweet, tentative friendship that gives the film its sizeable, beating heart.

There’s humour too. We're not in full-on comedy horror territory, but it certainly skews more in that direction than it does elsewhere (although its Hellraiser type cult is particularly creepy). Well, it is a film about disappearing shower curtains, after all. With a title and concept like that, Curtain was always going to be one of the year's most original horror films. Thankfully, it also turns out to be one of the best.

CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JARON HENRIE-MCCREA / SCREENPLAY: CARYS EDWARDS, JARON HENRIE-MCCREA / STARRING; DANNI SMITH, TIM LUEKE, MARTIN MONAHAN / RELEASE DATE: TBC


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