IFC Midnight continues to deliver consistent horror movie content, and this weekend marked the release of Colin Minihan’s ‘What Keeps You Alive‘ on VOD. The film had picked up a lot of buzz during it’s run on the festival circuit, including a nomination for Best Motion Picture at the Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival.
“Majestic mountains, a still lake and venomous betrayals engulf a female married couple attempting to celebrate their one-year anniversary.”
A couple, Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) and Jules (Brittany Allen), celebrating their one-year anniversary vacation to a secluded woods cabin that was the childhood vacation home of Jackie and offers a relaxing vibe and majestic scenery.
Immediately things seem off, as neighbor Sarah (Martha MacIsaac) visits the property, reuniting Jackie with her childhood friend. Jules seems threatened, perhaps believing there was some sort of romantic connection and ventures, by row boat, to visit their neighbors, Sarah and Daniel (Joey Klein), from across the lake.
Sarah discusses their childhood and brings up another friend of her’s and Jackie that had drowned during a swimming accident, having a profound impact on their childhood, and is surprised that Jackie had not told Jules about this profound tragedy.
Jules confronts Jackie, who breaks down to explain the tragedy, and the two seem to be okay, but something seems to have set off Jackie.
During a hike, Jackie and Jules venture to a cliff to take in a breathtaking view, when Jackie unexpectedly charges Jules and shoves her off the cliff to fall, to what appears to be, her death. When a bruised and battered Jules awakens, the movie takes a turn towards and evil hunt that will push Jules to her limits and will leave people dead.
Hannah Emily Anderson delivers a performance that steals the movie, as her portrayal of a psychotic, emotionally detached, lunatic is not on believable, it resonates, and is worthy of award consideration.
The film won’t provide jump scares, but it will give you a true psychological thriller that is a throwback to the days of Alfred Hitchcock, with stunning cinematography, and artistic flair that only helps create a unique setting for the film.
‘What Keeps You Alive’ finds a good groove, that works throughout 85% of the movie, creating a solid movie, but a nonsensical, and illogical chain of events towards the end anchors down the overall feeling of a film that deserved a far less head-scratching finish.
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