Considering that this movie is about a man who stalks women who are either getting in or out of the tub, I was expecting more tits.. but.. dammit there were no butts either..
A near death experience in a lake leaves Madison (Michelle Mylett) with an extreme case of hydrophobia and it’s stopping her from attending her best friend Hannah’s(Caroline Korycki) wedding as there might be rain and the Drownsman will come and get her, take her into his world and kill her. In their attempts to help cure Madison of her phobia, her friends hold a seance to try and contact this entity and discover that Madison is right and the drownsman AKA Sebastian Donner does exist and he still loves to hear his victims hearts beat as he drowns them….
This film could have have been great and introduced a brand new villain for us to love. It’s not often we get a water based horror creep who isn’t a shark, but while it has some interesting death scenes, like The Gallows (2015) it falls tragically short and almost forgets to thrill it’s audience.
Girls! Everywhere!! ripe for the killing, the majorly female cast are the typical victims, weak and girly, they take on the average stereotypes and play their parts well, the biggest credit to the film are some interesting kills and a few very deep atmospheric scenes, mostly at the beginning and the end when the Drownsman comes out to play. His character is a cross between Monsters and Madman Frankenstein and one of the classic slashers, Jason/Michael, a faceless hulking monster of a man who likes moist chicks.. (ta da boom tiss) but he doesn’t have a memorable presence. But about the kills, the options are limitless, how often do we come in contact with water!? It’s all around us and in this universe it’s all a gateway for the Drownsman. Some of the scenes about where he comes from are quite like the netherworld in the Brit horror The Dark (), it could have been enhanced by more atmospherics but otherwise it’s a darker more intensive part of the film.
As an introduction to a new bad guy, this film works, it’s not quite the outstanding introduction like Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), where Freddy became an instant hit but, you never know, with a bit of improvement this could be more of a Friday the 13th.. and the film does pay a great deal of homage to the great directors such as Carpenter and Craven.
Plot holes and terrible decisions plague the movie, but these seem to try and make things more interesting, the film also doubles back on it’s own logic at times but anything in the name of horror, and I do believe that director Chad Archibald was really trying to make something terrifying, and with a bit of refining I think he’s got potential to generate an ingenious and gory thriller at least.
I really wanted to fall in love with the film, it is WAY better than the Gallows, but there was too much whiny drama and not enough suspense and terror for my liking, but it’s definitely watchable and there is a great birth of a legend and lots of potential brimming under the surface here, but I felt that this film should have aimed higher and made more effort to make us all scared of water..
R – Candyman (1992), The Gallows (2015)
L – Water beasts, Selected Watery Deaths, Urban Legend Films, Conjuring a Villain