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The Suffering (2016)


A man fights for his sanity when he finds himself trapped on a rural farm inhabited by sinister beings overseen by a mysterious caretaker.


This is some slow burn horror from director, Robert Hamilton (Key). Beginning with protagonist, Henry Dawles, waiting on the side of a rural road awaiting a lift - the film is oppressive from the start. Dawles is picked up by the driver of Mr. Remiel, whose estate Dawles is there to appraise. It's immediately sinister. Arriving at the house Dawles is first introduced to house keeper, Mrs. Gates, and shortly after to the elderly, but charming Remiel.

The next morning, Dawles begins the appraisal of the estate - and things start to get dark. Strangers are on the grounds - Dawles himself discovers a body in one of the grounds buildings. Of course, Remiel shrugs it off as his ground are so large, people are forever coming on them and finding buildings to stay in... but watching it, it gives a great sense of unease.

From the very start of the film Robert Hamilton creates a wonderful sense of tension with a small budget. The direction is certainly tight - and he has created a film that looks expensive. The camera work is clever, and the use of light very well done. It's topped by some wonderful performances and a great script.

Dawles is played by Nick Apostolides (The Witching Hour) with aplomb. His slow breakdown and realization of the world arround him is very good. Owner of the estate, Remiel, played by Phil Amico (The Blinds) scene steals, and even the driver, Regen Wilson (Better Living Through Chemistry) is excellent. Not one of the cast is a throw away.

As the film gets darker, the script comes to it's own with Dawles losing his way, until the big reveal at the end - and even then nothing is given away until it has to be.

The only flaw I would put on the film is the sound production towards the start of the film is little off balance, with ambient sounds over powering the vocals - but that doesn't last for long.

Overall the film is very good, but 'slow burn' may too generous. If you want a sleight, gothic horror, then this is for you - but if you're looking for blood, guts, gore, and chase scenes, this certainly isn't. It's high quality, cerebral horror that doesn't explain what it doesn't need to.

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