Starring Matthew Tompkins, Arnold Vosloo, Michael Ironside
Directed by Jon Keeyes
Written, co-produced and directed by Jon Keeyes, The Harrowing is one of those films that has you questioning the sanity of all characters involved…and a few viewers as well.
As soon as the film allows us to unbuckle our seat belts and have a good look around, we focus our attention upon vice detective Calhoun (Tompkins) and the “hellish” set of circumstances that he’s recently undergone. His longtime partner in the department has just become fodder for a ritualistic-styled murder, and Calhoun’s only recourse is go deep, deep, DEEP undercover at a seriously shady former psych hospital in the hopes of gaining a foothold on exactly what happened. Dogged by his own personal traumas and demons, he’s forced to face a sinister side of life that he never knew existed…or is this really the case? Sanity’s a dicey thing at best, and when you’re back (and mind) is against the wall after suffering multiple unfortunate situations, one can see where the sane thoughts can go south and delusion can overwhelm even the most staunch of psyches.
The whole “demonic hospital” and equally unholy souls that walk the hallways was quite the teaser indeed, but it just seemed as if we didn’t get to see enough (at least for my tastes) what produces those cold chills down the spine. Sure, the film wasn’t entirely watered down with dialogue and sluggish pacing, but there certainly were spots where a mainlined infusion of pants-shitting horror was definitely needed to keep my eyes open. With a runtime of 2 hours, you can find yourself at times clock-watching, which in my useless opinion is the kiss of death in certain films – don’t tie me to the whoopin’ tree just yet, people. There are more than a few scary moments in this one and stagnant performances aside, they’re not damning by any stretch…they’ just needed a little more go-go juice to keep from sticking to the floor.
Your mind will become a bit frayed with the plethora of events that unfold in The Harrowing, and that’s a good thing – Keeyes makes his audience pay attention with the mind-altering displays that haunt the screen, and while it’s not the most thrilling presentation to splash across your orbital panorama, it’s definitely a movie that’s best suited to be watched as a one-timer with the lights off…and a strict prayer that you NEVER have to enter a hospital like this in your life…you think medical bills are the forefront of your worries? WHOA.