The Harrowing (2018) Movie Review
Written By: FR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Jon Keeyes
Writer: Jon Keeyes
Producers: Jennifer Byrd, James Cable, Annette Conlon, Jon Keeyes, et. al.
Date Released: December 25, 2018
Matthew Tompkins as Ryan Calhoun
Arnold Vosloo as Dr. Franklin Whitney
Michael Ironside as Lt. Logan
Arianne Martin as Anne Calhoun
Damon Carney as Jack Myers
Hayden Tweedie as Ella
Erin Marie Garrett as Bethany
Rating = 2 /5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Vice detective Ryan Calhoun (Matthew Tompkins) was on an undercover sting investigating a group of perverts trafficking children as sex slaves. He only stepped away from his partner for a minute to call in for the bust. A minute was enough to lose his partner and forever change his life. Years later while on surveillance history repeats itself. While Ryan is out for coffee, one of his surveillance partners Roy Greenbaum (James Cable) brutally murders his other partner and lifelong best friend Jack (Damon Carney). Believing Greenbaum’s stay in a mental health hospital has something to do with the ritualistic killing of his friend, Ryan goes undercover once more.
Deep inside a forensic hospital Ryan goes undercover as a patient under Dr. Franklin Whitney (Arnold Vosloo) to investigate the “demons” Greenbaum said he has living inside him. Under Dr. Whitney’s care Ryan begins to question his own sanity and the only person who knows he’s actually undercover and not a patient is his boss Lt. Logan (Michael Ironside). Was Greenbaum possessed by a real demon, or has Dr. Whitney brainwashed his patients into a murderous insanity?
The plot touches on not just demons and conspiracies but necrophilia and cannibalism and some of the sequences are quite nightmarish. Not so much in the sense of over the top gore, all though there is plenty of that, but the actual imagery and the way it is presented.
The Grave Review
The real enemy in The Harrowing (2018) seems to be the pacing. The main character jumps between domestic drama and medical conspiracy. Acting performance is quite mediocre except for the old Michael Ironside.
The movie has a few flaws in the creation of mental hospital. The film mixes up a lot of the typical clichés as hospital patients act out over strange obsessions and are occasionally tormented by villainous orderlies. But this is also a story in which the violent lunatics don’t have locks on their doors, inside a building in which private medical files have no computer passwords on them. It’s also a place where somebody thought that an empty, undecorated cupboard would be a good stand in for a solitary confinement room. It is a well- known fact that rooms for solitary confinement in an asylum is made up of padded cell.
The detective plot is too thin, and the supernatural elements are even thinner. The story is predictable. The police and medical procedures are lacking in the movie in which case this is relying on. Unfortunately, a few splashes of blood and a couple of neat monster effects aren’t enough to make it a good horror film.
Making use of distorted photography, odd colors and lighting give a lot of scenes a look that causes uneasiness regardless of the content. While at first disorienting, the constant use of quickly edited flashbacks gets old with constant use, however. Some of those scenes could have been trimmed, the film could be tightened up slightly.
Overall, the film was able to keep the viewers’ attention and managed to unnerve more than once. It does have some flaws but it gets the job done
Because of the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews give The Harrowing (2018) two graves out of five graves.
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