Review: Within These Walls (2015)
Directed by: James Tucker
Written By: Kelsey Zukowski (screenplay) & James Tucker (story)
Starring: Kelsey Zukowsk, Laura Godown-Mortensen, Felissa Rose, Marv Blauvelt, Jessica Rogers, James Tucker, Kate Atack.
Plot: A prisoner in her own home, a captive in her own body. Assaulted and trapped with no one to hear her cries for help…and knowing no one will believe her if they do. This is the terrifying reality Alaina finds herself in when she moves in to the house her mother died in. At first she thinks it’s the loss of her mother that is haunting her, but she is soon shown it is something far more malicious and unrelenting. The spirit taunts her as it invades her body, mind, and soul, completely trapping her. Alaina has to fight for answers on what really happened to her mother if she has any hopes of survival. She must find a way to endure this monster who lives and breathes to rob her of her sanity as it demands a savage hold on her.
Reviewed by Clifford Kiyabu (The Doctor)
My Thoughts: What is it about the paranormal that sparks our curiosity? It is in our very nature as human beings to be drawn to the unknown… To bask ourselves in that which we don’t understand. Or is it the thirst for answers that pulls us in? Or is it something else? What happens when we stare deep into the abyss in search of answers and something stares back?
Directed by James Tucker and written by Kelsey Zukowski comes Within These Walls (2015). A haunting and chilling tale of a young woman’s endurance to unearth answers behind her mother’s death. Her search leads her down a dark and turbulent path of both physical and mental torment. Her only hope for survival is to endure and persevere.
WTW combines both classic and modern horror in a disturbingly delightful way while also setting its own artistic mark in the indie-horror genre. There’s no denying the film has qualities that are inspired by such cult classics as The Entity (1982), but by no means does it have similarities to it, nor does it rely solely on the inspiration. No, it relies on its own originality, which is wonderfully displayed in the writing, directing and performances. It’s a breath of fresh air in my opinion. Many horror films today (even in indie-horror) rely too heavily on shock value to carry itself rather than allow the story do its job, WTW however focuses on the actual plot to guide the film rather than cheap chills and thrills to keep viewers interested. Which in a sense has also become a signature of MS Zukowski’s style of writing. Anyone whose read her previous works know that everything has its purpose, nothing in place is there for mere shock value or cheap eye candy. WTW proves that good horror doesn’t require A-List actors, a superior budget, or even an over the top production to be astonishing. All that is needed is a cast and crew whom are passionate about the work and are dedicated to the art of filmmaking.
Where the directing and writing is impressive without question, the performances by the cast also proved to live up to expectations. Kelsey Zukowski performance as Alaina Olsen is amazing. You feel her pain, her torment… her struggle. You want to see her fight through it all to beat the odds. This is largely due to how fluent Zukowski comes off in the role and how well she’s able to project her emotions in the role. Marv Blauvelt and Laura Godown-Mortensen, who played Alaina’s parents were fantastic. Both actors share a form chemistry with the lead actress on screen that comes off as natural and honest.
Final Thoughts: WTW proved to be as amazing and fascinating as it was disturbing. I believe in the saying less is more, and in WTW’s case, the less you know going in the more you’ll get out of it. I highly recommend.