ABC Film Challenge – Horror – K – The Keeping Hours (2017) Movie Review

Director: Karen Moncrieff

Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine (Screenplay)

Starring: Lee Pace, Carrie Coon, Sander Thomas, Ray Baker, Amy Smart, Julian LaTourelle, Ana Ortiz

Plot: 10 years after the death of their son, a divorced couple is suddenly reunited by supernatural events that offer them a chance at forgiveness

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fantasy Lives 101

Story: The Keeping Hours starts on what should have been the best day of Mark (Pace) and Elizabeth’s (Coon) life, which ends in tragedy. Ten years later the two are divorced living very different lives, when Mark looking to sell their home, gets a visit from their dead son Jacob (Thomas).

Once Mark convinces Elizabeth that Jacob has returned the two get to spend more time with him, without being able to touch him, only being left with one question, why has Jacob really returned to them.

Thoughts on The Keeping Hours

Characters – Mark was ready for a picture-perfect life until tragedy changed that, now focused on his work, caring for his sick father. He wants to sell the final part of the memory of his own son, until he gets to spend time he never imagined with him, when he returns, this also gives him a chance to rebuild his marriage with Elizabeth too. Elizabeth was ready for her picture perfect life until the crash, she has moved on by starting a new family and becoming a celebrated author, she can’t resistant the chance to spend more time with her lost son again, both parents do put their own futures on the line with the decision to spend time with Jacob. Jacob is the son that dies in an accident, he returns to his parents, but for what reason.

PerformancesLee Pace and Carrie Coon in the leading roles are both strong showing how difficult it would have been to lose a child and what it would be like to get them back to fill the void of them. Sander Thomas as the child is all he needs to, not looking scared for the couple of moments he needs to.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that have their lives ruined by tragedy and have gone their own separate ways, when they get a chance to see their son again, they find themselves trying spend time with him, while trying to learn why he returned to him. This does get to offer a chance to ask the question about whether you would spend time with a lost child, if it can’t be explained to just why they returned. The question might well be interesting, the pace of the story does seem to plod along without getting going, we get hints a horror story, that just doesn’t happen and the fantasy idea sees the parents given up everything they have worked for, including Elizabeth ignoring her own new children.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of the film does show us just how the child returns back from the dead, we get the fantasy elements which hint what might not be real, the horror in the film does get hinted, with a couple of moments, just don’t seem to follow through.

SettingsThe film uses the house as the setting which shows us the memories the parents would have in that home, even after being away from the location for years.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are used to highlight the fantasy elements in the film, usually just lights flying around in the scenes.


Scene of the Movie – The first visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does hint at a horror moment, only to get forgotten.

Final Thoughts This is a fantasy horror that doesn’t hit the high levels that it could, even if it does ask the big question about whether somebody would do if they got a chance at seeing a child again.

Overall: Basic fantasy.

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