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THE DROWNSMAN (#TADFF Review)

2-drownsmanTHE DROWNSMAN
Written by Chad Archibald and Cody Calahan
Directed by Chad Archibald

Starring Michelle Mylett, Caroline Korycki and Ry Barrett

In THE DROWNSMAN, the latest film from Chad Archibald (ANTISOCIAL), water proves to be a young woman’s (Michelle Mylett) greatest enemy. Seriously.

After nearly drowning, Madison (Mylett) finds herself plagued with hydrophobia, the fear of water. While unconscious under water, Madison is transported to a dark and damp room where she is attacked by “The Drownsman” (Ry Barrett), who looks more like THE ROOM actor Tommy Wiseau than he does any real horror villain. Claiming that The Drownsman can travel through water, Madison cuts the essential liquid out of her life completely; she even ingests her liquids intravenously.  Fed up with her erratic behaviour, Madison’s friends stage an intervention, which doesn’t work and eventually leads them all to be hunted by The Drownsman as well.

DrownsmanPosterFeat

Perhaps the biggest problem in the film, aside from how ludicrous it is, is that it simply isn’t scary. The villain looks so unthreatening that it is impossible to be scarred by him. I’m sure with a nice bath and haircut, The Drownsman would be a swell guy and women would drench themselves in water just to get a glimpse of him. The film is often quite funny, but unfortunately the laughs aren’t intentional. Regardless, watching a tragically funny, unscary horror film is better than watching one that is simply boring.

The concept of The Drownsman emerging from any body of water could’ve been used in much smarter ways. We see him come out of bathtubs and puddles, but how great would it be if he came out of one of Madison’s tears? THE DROWNSMAN is one of those films that viewers will think about, finding many ways in which it could’ve been better. If only the filmmakers were as imaginative, maybe we wouldn’t have to.

1.5 sheep

The 2014 Toronto After Dark film festival runs through Friday, October 24 in Toronto. For tickets and more information, please visit the Toronto After Dark website.

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