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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Drownsman' [Blu ray]
(Caroline Palmer, Clare Bastable, Gemma Bird Matheson, Michelle Mylett, Ry Barrett, et al / Blu ray/ NR / 2015 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Overview: After almost drowning in a lake accident, Madison (Michelle Mylett, 'Antisocial') develops hydrophobia: an abnormal fear of water. After shutting the world and her friends out for over a year, her friends attempt an intervention. But, instead of curbing Madison's fear, they unknowingly unleash something far worse!

Blu ray Verdict: 'The Drownsman,' directed by Chad Archibald ('Neverlost'), written by Cody Calahan ('Antisocial') and Chad Archibald, produced by Christopher Giroux ('Dead All Night'), is a film that as it opens (which it does right from the off, no messing around around here with any lame build ups!), you kinda feel like you might be in for a rough night with. Which you are, but not in that way, because 'The Drownsman' (which is still a bad title, sorry) gets better, and better as it builds the story.

Indeed, the whole 80's feel to the entire thing - from the way it is filmed re: angles and the "matte" feel to it (although they used RED cameras, which are top notch and rather expensive), through to the cheesy dialogue, on through to the lame Drownsman manky costume - might be off putting for those more modern day horror buffs, but trust me when I tell you to stick with this film - through to the VERY end! The story is easy, the outcome obvious, but the final, final true outcome completely unexpected!

After almost drowning in a lake accident, Madison (Mylett) dives deep into her crippling post trauma fear of water. To the point that a year later she misses her friends wedding, and her role as Maid of Honor. So, the bride and her friends get Madison to her house (but where's the husband?) and they hold a faux spiritual intervention to try and rid Madison of her supposed visions of this "dark figure" she draws pictures of.

But that goes horribly wrong, and soon - one by one- the girls are all brought kicking and screaming into the world of the Drownsman. As Madison tries to help her friends, watching them disappear one by one, her inner strength grows, her internet homework pays off, and soon she is herself knee deep in the horrifying place that was the last place on earth that she wanted to be!

Chock full of some great cinematic moments, that use the RED camera perfectly - such as a delightful "long wet hair toss" at the start - the death scenes are different, inventive, and well executed (no pun intended) also! Sure it was filmed in Ontario, Canada, which means most all the young cast sport an underlying Canadian accent, and sure the film goes quiet in the middle (as they try to figure things out), but scenes like the disappearing wet cell phone, the "angry" washing machine, and the hair salon are just so much fun, you rewind mid-film just to have the pleasure of rewatching them!

The end result is a solid tribute - even if it wasn't meant as one - to the 80's style of horror film making, whilst at the same time being a unique take on that genre also for the modern day. Even the death of Madison's female co-star will bring a sadness to your face, believe me! And how often do you actually care abut any teenager getting killed in these types of movies. Here though, it is just a very sad moment that hangs, cleverly suspended in time for those few cinematic moments. And, as mentioned above twice now, the actual real ending is a trip, to say the least! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but sadly comes with no Special Features!