Inspired by the Butterbox Babies case, The Child Remains follows a couple as they stay in an inn with a dark past and an uncertain future.
From writer/director Michael Melski, The Child Remains is a haunting story of sorts that crosses with investigative story and a few other things. This leads to a film that is a slow burn but an interesting one. Those who are familiar with the Butterbox Babies case will see connections which are of course a bit stretched here but still make some sense. The characters built for the modern day people who stumble into this dark past are well developed. They are a basically just one couple who get haunted in one way or another and slowly work towards making sense of things for themselves with a few side moments into level of insanity or madness or something that actually makes sense in the film. These characters are very human, even frustrating like real people are at times.
The lead is played by Quebec actress Suzanne Clément whose accent is explained away by having her character be from Quebec. She plays her pregnant part well with the right amount of anxiety and stress before the supernatural even comes in. Once it comes in, her will to survive for her child and herself pushes her forward. Suzanne Clément plays this part well with just the right amount of worry, determination, and a touch of madness that works perfectly well here. Playing her husband is Allan Hawco who does good work and creates a character who is worried but not overly supportive. Playing the lady who owns the inn and may be more than she looks is actress Shelley Thompson. She plays her character with a devilish background that works great.
The cinematography by director of photography Ken Le Blanc frames this story beautifully, using the darkness and light as almost characters of their own. Some of the scenes, thanks to his work and that of the camera crew, creepy just by the way they are shot, adding a touch of ethereal feeling to things here and there. Helping the images are the special effects crew that created one cute little skeleton that is meant to be creepy but calls to horror loving hearts like an abandoned kitten does to a crazy cat lady. The designer of this tiny thing should consider releasing it to dark arts collectors.
The Child Remains uses a well-known (in Canada) case that has been put on film before and creates a modern day story around it that makes sense and has a nicely creepy vibe. The film has some stunning shots and good performances that elevate it past something that could have been marked off as a “movie of the week” type of film.
Blood In The Snow runs November 23rd to November 26th, 2017.