M.L. Miller here! As I go into my tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Seven of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2016 and going through September 30, 2017. I have posted Best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on August 1, 2017! Available On Demand, digital download, & DVD here from Black Fawn Films! Also streaming on Tubi and Shudder!
THE SUBLET (2015)
Directed by John Ainslie
Written by John Ainslie, Alyson Richards
Starring Tianna Nori, Mark Matechuk, Krista Madison, Rachel Sellan, Porter Randell, James Murray, Mary-Elizabeth Willcott, Jeff Sinasac, Mark Ettlinger
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Thrilling and creepy, THE SUBLET has elements of other horror movies, but manages to still deliver the goods.
Joanna (Tianna Nori from THE DEMOLISHER) and her fiancée Geoff (Mark Matechuk) have moved into a sublet as Geoff takes a job as an actor on a TV show while Joanna stays home with their new baby Porter. Even as they enter the place for the first time, things are odd as no one is there to show them the place and a note explains that if they like what they see, they can stay. Just don’t go into the locked rooms. While Geoff is away, Joanna is left home alone with the baby and weird things begin to happen. The locked door opens, the couch moves, and no matter how much Joanna rearranges the odd religious iconography on the shelves, they seem to always return to their original place. Not to mention the weird homeless woman outside staring at Joanna and the fact that Joanna’s family keep insisting that she is missing when they talk with Geoff. Things get weirder as a horrific history of the sublet is revealed through a journal Joanna finds.
Those who like all of their answers may want to take a pass with this little mind-fucker of a film, but anyone who enjoys a little ambiguity with their horror are going to want to seek this one out. It’s got elements of ROSEMARY’S BABY as it seems the world around Joanna is out to get her and the haunted history and bizarre photos around the sublet apartment gave me a vibe which reminded me of the final moments of THE SHINING. Still there are no direct lifts from these iconic films and if you’re going to be reminded of a horror film, these two films are ones to go for.
Nori is amazing as Joanna and basically, this is a one woman show here. She sizzled with rage and sorrow in THE DEMOLISHER as the vigilante’s invalid wife and here she handles a range of complex emotions really well again. In many ways this is a fantastic representation of post-partum depression and the insecurities a woman feels after having a child, though things get supernatural and weird along the way. While Matechuk is great here as the aloof and distant husband, this is Nori’s show through and through. You believe her, no matter how crazy things get around her and that’s crucial in a film such as this when up and down are questionable.
Though there are some pretty gory scenes, the best parts of THE SUBLET are the surreal twists and nightmarish turns that occur throughout. This is one of those films that will burrow deep and won’t let you forget it. Filled with an overall sense of creep from minute one, the scares and shocks intensify to a nerve-shredding level by the end of THE SUBLET.
THE 2016-2017 COUNTDOWN!
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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