Michael (Gold), an addict a year out of rehab and forever making promises to his pregnant fiancée Jess (Harris) that he’ll be clean, he’s even been holding down a dreary job in a warehouse. Unfortunately, despite all his insistence, he’s been drifted back into using. Foolishly, though, he has also stolen a large amount of money from some dealers. Which we assume is why four hockey-masked thugs kidnap him at his place of work and bundle him in the boot of a car. Only it turns out that despite the roughness, it’s nothing more than his closest friends who are a little put out that he bailed on stag weekend they had planned for him. So they’ve taken things into their own hands - apparently with Jess’ approval - and intend on giving him a bachelor party to remember in some remote woods.
Michael gets very perturbed when one of the gang has gone through his backpack and taken his ‘stash’ and it’s clear the friendships are a little strained. When one of them is found dead in the middle of the night and the battery cables are missing from their car, they band together to survive the night for fear of ‘what’s out there’. Could Michael’s drug problems be catching up with him and taking out his friends too?
The Unraveling has an interesting set-up and, fortunately, we’re happy to say it continues to deliver some surprising shocks, and more importantly, some genuine human drama. Without having to resort to excessive gore or cheap comic relief, what we have is a tense - if not actually scary - tale of survival; be it for the characters’ life or mind.
Seasoned horror fans might be able to figure out where it’s going before the third act, but Jakobsen and the cast handle everything so well that it’s still a thrill ride getting there. Sidestepping a lot of the genre trappings, it offers a fresh take on a tired subject. Intense and gruelling, The Unraveling is an above average low budget effort that deserves to be seen and enjoyed by a larger audience.
THE UNRAVELING / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: THOMAS JAKOBSEN / SCREENPLAY: JUSTIN S. MONROE, THOMAS JAKOBSEN / STARRING: ZACK GOLD, JASON TOBIAS, BENNETT VISO, BOB TURTON, COOPER HARRIS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW