A young couple with a baby move into a sublet with a mysterious locked room and a few secrets. As he works more and more toward getting his acting career on track, the more she spends time alone in the sublet with their son. As time goes by, odd happenings add up and she begins to seemingly lose her mind. Written by John Ainslie and Alyson Richards with Ainslie directing, The Sublet build tension as the characters drift apart due to life and due to whatever force is working on the new mother, Joanna. As her mind seems to unravel, the potentially supernatural happenings multiply and so does the tension.
The film works with themes of paranoia, fear, mental breakdown, loneliness, and postpartum depression. The film plays with what is real and what is not in a way that works in terms of not losing the viewer while messing with them a bit and messing with the lead a lot. The way the story develops works on many levels and creates some worry and a few fears while playing with the aforementioned themes with one or more of which will surely resonate with each viewer. In the part of Joanna, actress Tianna Nori shows fragility and determination with touches of depression and fear for the future.
Her performance is good and even great in parts, but a few scenes feel off and it’s something that can take one out of the film. Playing as her support and sometimes against her is Mark Matechuk as her husband, the man who should be on her side but who is increasingly not so much as the film advances. Matechuk plays both sides of his character well and make the most of his less present character while also working with Nori in a way that makes it look and feel like they may know each other or have known each other until their new flat and situation drives them apart. Their performances work well together and carry the film and its emotional impact.
The film shot on Red with cinematography by Greg Biskup looks fantastic with darks that show beautifully well. The way the film is built, there is a specific look for the present and the ghosts of the past, which helps separate the story and create separation and unity at the same time, which makes sense when the film comes together. The special effects by Shaun Hunter are mostly bloody related with a few other extras that add to the fear factor of the film although they are not the focal point of the story but just an extra.
The Sublet is a supernatural thriller with some truly great shot and good performances. It looks great, sounds good, and has good music. It’s a decent film which is entertaining however it may not do much for those looking for a truly scary horror film. It’s good but more of a thriller than a horror film.
Blood in the Snow ran from November 25th to November 27th, 2016.