Director: Jon Keeyes.
Starring. Arnold Vosloo, Erin Marie Garrett, Michael Ironside, Matthew Tompkins, Hayden Tweedie. USA. 1h 25m
With it’s gripping cover I couldn’t miss this movie, a chance at a semi decent horror movie involving demons!? what could possibly go wrong.. well in short, everything, and yes you don’t need to remind me not to judge movies from their covers.. I’ll never learn. It’s an odd bag of events, talents and , the star of the film is terrible and his co stars including Michael Ironside and Arnold Vosloo!? Maybe i’m out of touch but they mean more to me than the rest of the cast doubled.. Alas it is what it is…
The life of a vice cop is often glamorized on the screen, through tough work and determination they eventually get the bad guys after an action packed chases and breaking a few rules usually there is a classic duo think of The French Connection (1971) and really what could make this style of film sour? The Harrowing is a far cry from this classic set up, and while it’s great to break convention sometimes the mix can marr either side, could you imagine if Gene Hackman ran into real demons while pursuing his case? although in all honesty he was fighting personal ones in the sequel but this is beyond the point.
Ryan Calhoon (Tompkins) is great at his job, great at being a husband and just great at everything, until he manages to lose a good friend and partner in a terrible stake out gone wrong. This disastrous ritual killing of his best friend leaves him with the notion that demons are real and he’s determined to find out the truth which through some surreal connections, involved him begging his grouchy chief Lt Logan (Ironside) to commit him to a mental institution under the care of a slow paced Dr Franklin (Vosloo). Here the movie unravels alongside the mental stability of it’s star.
In terms of following through with an idea it’s on track but it’s delivery is just a bit dreamy. The use of tacky demons wandering in and out of scene is on par with the Outer Limits episode, Corner of the Eye. Seeming to take some pages from Unsane (2018) where everyone in a mental hospital manages to harbour a mobile phone, slowly Keeyes starts to shoe horn supernatural apparitions into the story the perspective starts to change, with the introduction of new characters and regression therapy. It’s clever in the way it starts to unfold a different story but it’s just badly acted with entry level effects that it’s hard to appreciate.
Good try though..
R – Unsane (2018),
L – Demons on film, A-Z of Demon Flicks
5s -Michael Ironside