Reviews | Written by John Higgins 29/08/2018

WHAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE [FRIGHTFEST 2018]

Jules (Brittany Allen) arrives to celebrate the first anniversary of her wedding to wife Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) at a family lake house and seemingly all is well in the honeymoon period. However, the arrival of an old school friend of Jackie's, who lives across the water in a house opposite inadvertently and indirectly starts a chain of events that will affect the dynamic of this relationship...

This writer would loathe to reveal any more details about this psychological horror gem, as there is much to enjoy in a hugely tantalising and tasty dark horse entertainment. It holds your attention for much of its ninety-nine minutes duration and the performances from Allen and Anderson make this a highly-effective two-hander.

The tone of the film is very reminiscent of classic horrors like Sean Cunningham's original Friday The 13th, considering the woodland setting, but it is also to be admired for taking a same-sex relationship as the character focus which has rarely been explored to the level that it has been in this film.

With all the concerns over diversity and sexual issues in the film industry, What Keeps You Alive is a breath of fresh air, which will certainly have much cross-over appeal to both horror and non-horror fans, regardless of your gender preference.

Like we saw in A Quiet Place, director Minihan has tapped with exactness and precision into what makes a film like this work to the intense level that it should do. Both the daytime scenes and night-time setting evoke the same equal sense of dread that one or the other should do in the horror genre.

Another key strength of the film is at least getting to the heart of the backstory of the characters and some surprising revelations help the film move at pace towards a very dark and satisfying conclusion when you think that you have got it nailed.

WHAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: COLIN MINIHAN / STARRING: HANNAH EMILY ANDERSON, BRITTANY ALLEN, MARTHA MACISAAC, JOEY KLEIN / RELEASE DATE: TBC