The Harrowing

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3rd February 2019

A Demonic Thriller

A police detective, who has quite possibly the worst luck when it comes to partners, given that they all end up dead, is on a stake-out with his new partner.

They’re attempting to setup some high profile people with hookers when out protagonist Ryan, Matthew Tompkins (“Sicario“, “Longmire (TV)”), goes for coffee’s. He returns to an empty room and, rushing to the room they’re monitoring, he finds blood and dismembered bodies everywhere and his latest partner eating people.

After putting his new partner down his Lieutenant, Michael Ironside (“Starship Troopers”, “Turbo Kid“), puts him on leave but Ryan can’t let it go. He discovers his new partner has spent time in a mental hospital for depression and attempted suicide.

Further digging reveals a pattern of people coming out of this particular hospital and killing, saying demons made them do it. Ryan and his Lieutenant devise a plan for Ryan to go in undercover and figure out what’s going on.

There he meets the head of the facility Dr. Franklin, Arnold Vosloo (“The Mummy”, “Blood Diamond”), and begins to try and unravel what’s going on, only, perhaps it’s not the case that’s unravelling, but Ryan himself.

From writer and director Jon Keeyes (“Nightmare Box”, “The Mechanical Grave”), The Harrowing starts out as any lone-cop, noir thriller, but turns into something that’s verging on a horror movie.

It’s filled with flashbacks, flashforwards, dream sequences and the like, which can get a little tiresome after a time, but add to the horror feeling.

The Harrowing has the hallmarks of a really good, mind bending thriller as it twists and turns its way through the story and our protagonist unravels in front of our eyes.

The trouble is that it’s all too slow and the reasoning behind it all is missing. I wanted to like it, I really did. I think it looks great, all muted colours and very noir in its feel.

I think the acting isn’t bad from Tompkins, Vosloo and Ironside, nor some of the more periphery characters. There just needed to be more emotion from Tompkins, it’s not quite believable as he veers from pillar to post in his ways.

There needed to be less flashbacks but most of all, there needed to be a reason behind it all. We spend so long on the setup and the finale that why it’s all occurred, why what’s happening is actually being done, gets forgotten.

The Harrowing isn’t a harrowing watch, but it could have been so much better, that said, it’s a stylish second feature from Keeyes after 2013’s Nightmare Box, it certainly shows promise.

Haunted by the ritualistic killing of his best friend, a vice detective determined to discover the truth goes undercover into a forensic hospital and is plunged into his own personal Hell where demons might be real.

25th December 2018

Jon Keeyes

Jon Keeyes

Running Time:
1h 50min

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