UK | Canada | USA 2019
Opening February 6, 2020
Directed by: Severina Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writing credits: Sergio Casci, Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Principal actors: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Richard Armitage, LiaMcHugh, Alicia Silverstone
Following the death of their mother Laura (Alicia Silverstone), Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) are devastated. In the hopes of bringing the family together, their father (Richard Armitage) plans a bonding trip where they will spend a few days alone with their soon-to-be stepmother Grace (Riley Keough). Yet, when a snowstorm hits isolating the three from society, strange and frightening events begin to unfold suggesting that not all is as it seems. Is Grace having a breakdown related to the psychological trauma of her childhood or is there a darker and supernatural explanation?
Unfortunately the answer to that question is more convoluted than surprising and largely undoes the tense, atmospheric set-up of the first half of the film. It seems rather unfair that the success of the film appeared to be placed wholly on the shoulders of Keough who does her best with the material, but cannot create miracles. The flimsy plot weakens the longer the film goes on and there are only so many minutes of ramped up tension that can be sustained before the whole thing begins to fizzle. What remains is just a mildly unsettling film which had great potential and some interesting directorial choice, but which, in the end, failed to deliver on what it promised. (Rose F.)