Director: Adam Levins
Writer: Simon Fantauzzo (Screenplay) Simon Fantauzzo, William Borthwick (Story)
Starring: Craig Conway, James Cosmo, Bob Duff, James Lance, Amy Manson, Eileen Nicholas, Nora-Jane Noone, Simon Quarterman
Plot: A woman returns home to her estranged family after a near-fatal accident but begins to suspect something is not right.
Tagline – There’s no place like home.
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Estranged starts when January (Manson) and her boyfriend Callum (Quarterman) are involved in a motorcycle accident on their world adventure. January returns to her family mansion to live with her father Albert (Cosmo), mother Marilyn (Nicholas), brother Laurence (Lance) and sister Kathrine (Noone), to help her recover.
January has lost large parts of her memory as well as needing to recover physically, needing a wheelchair to get around the house. It doesn’t take long for January to start questioning what is going on in the home, getting confused between what is right and why she left in the first place.
Thoughts on Estranged
Characters & Performances – January has been travelling the world with her boyfriend, she gets involved in an accident, leaving her without a memory and needing a wheelchair to get around. She returns to her estranged family home, where she is doesn’t feel comfortable not knowing what is real or not, struggling with any childhood memories. Amy Manson must go through the most in this film, she handles everyone very well, showing the uncertainty her character is suffering through. Albert is the father of the house, he has the strict rules he expects everyone to follow. James Cosmo gives us the demanding screen presence to see on the film, being creepy and demanding in every scene. Laurence and Kathrine are the brother and sister who have their methods of dealing with a returning January, ways that will give them more power in the house. We have a small cast in this film, with most of the cast being family or help around the house.
Story – The story here follows a young woman who returns home after an accident to recover, only to start experience strange reactions around the house as she starts trying to put the pieces of her life back together. This is a story offers up a lot going on, with the memory loss helping build the world, with the uncertainty of what is going on for January. When it comes to the ordeal side of things, it does seem to go on for too long, without much happening in certain scenes. It does go in a more twisted way, but leaves giant gaps in the recovery process January goes through.
Themes – Estranged is a horror film that relies on the uncertainty of memory loss before diving into the side of things we get. It is mostly dealing with an ordeal. The singular location of the mansion away from the local village, does leave January feeling isolated, as she can’t get around without someone watching her.
Final Thoughts – Estranged is a slow horror that might well have the disturbing factor, it takes a while to reach that point.