Intimacy and a birthday celebration turns into horror for a married couple. Best laid plans go awry…so much so that murder and ghosts become involved. Even with this short snippet you can see how many are saying that Canadian (filmed in Nova Scotia) film The Child Remains is being touted as director/screenwriter Michael Melski’s ode to the horror films of the 70s and 80s.
Horror of today has become more reliant on blood and gore. Shock factor, in other words. Very recently there has been a slow return to the films of yore which would just try to scare you via creepiness and atmosphere. More jumps than gross out style. The Child Remains is of that variety. It is a slow burner which gently amps up the scares as the minutes go along.
Liam (Allan Hawco – from television’s The Republic of Doyle) decides to plan a weekend away for he and his wife. It is her birthday and Rae (Suzanne Clement – Mommy, J’ai Tue Ma Mere), an investigative journalist, has been suffering from PTSD, so she is in great need of a weekend away.
The inn Liam selects is one which has just recently opened in a great heritage style building which has an interesting history. Owned and run now by Monica (Shelley Thompson – Labyrinth, Trailer Park Boys: The Movie), it used to function as a maternity home for single pregnant women.
Just as the couple try to settle into some sense of calm it becomes apparent that not is all right in the inn. Of course, when already jittery Rae brings her concerns to Liam he is resistant thinking it is just another case of her going off the deep end. Upping the ante is the fact that Rae is pregnant.
Just as the more adrenaline junkie horror fans out there being slipping into a coma is just when director Melski brings forth the scares or increased tension. What I did not see coming was the twist at the end. Really a film saver!
The tightly wound yet largely quiet story is rather simple. Meaning it does not allow its attention to wander or get too busy. Melski does nothing that will shake the foundations of the horror genre, but for a rather modest budget has made a film which is worth your time.
While the acting in the basically three person cast is not always sparkling, it is rescued by the always solid Cannes award winner – Suzanne Clement. She really understands her character and knows how to bring her instability and drive to know what is going on to Rae.