Movie Review: The Harrowing (2017)

December 29, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Detective Ryan Calhoun (Matthew Tompkins) is having a shit go of it as of late as he is plagued by the events surrounding the rather strange murder of his best friend…a murder that involves the local forensic hospital. Being a blithe spirit (read sad sack borderline psychotic), our here tap dances into danger’s gaping maw and sets about investigating that sinister structure to uncover the truth, but instead of your normal procedural, Ry-man is tossed six ways to Sunday!
I gotta tell you creeps; Writer/Director Jon Keeyes kinda pulled the rug out from under ol’ XIII with The Harrowing…and that is a thing of wicked wonder indeed! With it’s deft blend of psychological thrills, and supernatural shocks, this film rises (severed) head and shoulders over the typical “spooky asylum fraught with jump scares” that pictures of this genre usually fall prey to…rather, things play out like a walking nightmare, and all sense of reality becomes nicely skewed. Along with that big plus, we are also treated to multiple top-shelf practical effects (always a welcome thing in my beastly book), as well as some flasy-ass shootin’ and cuttin’ (courtesy of Cinematographer Ron McPherson and Editor Steven Baker respectively), and pretty choice acting from leading man Tompkins that keeps Ryan relatable no matter what fresh hell he finds himself thrust into. And I’d be remiss not to mention that the film boasts some fine performances from genre mainstays Michael Ironside and Arnold Vosloo.
On the flip-flop; at an hour and fifty minutes, this fright flick runs waaay too long. Part of the deal there is that large amounts of dialog are required to get across some of the more psychological components present in the story. This of course slows the action and momentum, and while never boring, things could have been left more ambiguous for the sake of pacing.
All in all, a satisfying entry into the psychological meets supernatural fright flick subgenre, with some fine acting and effects…The Harrowing is well worth slappin’ your eerie eyeballs on despite it’s slight pacing issues!



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