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What Keeps You Alive (2018)



Majestic mountains, a still lake and venomous betrayals engulf a female married couple attempting to celebrate their one-year anniversary.




Review

Writer / director Colin Minihan (Grave Encounters) brings taut horror / thriller What Keeps You Alive to the screen. A slow burn psychological horror at it's heart, the film gives you what you least expect. Minihan's story is simple enough, but the twists and turns come thick and fast - there is a reliance on storytelling with a small cast and even smaller location.

Filmed in Canada with some deft direction, the film looks beautiful, and Minihan has an eye for the scenery. The location itself is the stuff of dream holidays - if you're looking to be so far out in the sticks, that someone could, say, murder you without leaving any witnesses.




The film is a cat and mouse - with stars Hannah Emily Anderson (Jigsaw) and Brittany Allen (Extraterrestrial) in said roles. They're both very good in the film, playing out the loving couple well, but also the protagonist/antagonist parts equally, but Allen has moments where we can see a glint of a spectacular performance. When faced with adversity, and certainly down, her performance is both heart wrenchingly believable, but also so fierce at the same time.

The only downsides that the film has are the poor decisions of the protagonist - something we are all too familiar with in horror film - and a final second sting in the closing of the film that I didn't know was there until I'd done some research. I can only put this down to sound design being for the big screen, or perhaps surround sound, and not home entertainment TV. But you have to watch it first, and find out later - this is a film that shouldn't be spoiled.

Overall, What keeps You Alive verges more on thriller than horror - but a spectacularly taut one. It's well made, gripping, and thoroughly enjoyable - with Minihan proving again that he is a talent behind the camera, and all involved putting out their best.

Fans of films like The Perfection should take quite a lot from this - and given the tighter budget restraints - it feels rounded and maybe a little better for it. A definite recommendation.






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