Oh, the weather outside is very frightful this past weekend and that meant it was just a little too cold to venture out doors. Doing would've meant getting your ass handed to you by the icy winds of Sub-Zero and Elsa....Yeah that didn't go over like I had hoped but what it truly meant was that I got to sit down and watch some movies that have been neglected or pushed off long enough for me to have a few hours to myself and I can just plow through them. Low and behold I watched a few spanish horror movies and a few not so good movies but one that stood out for me was this film. I don't know why it stuck out to me but it did. I just felt like I had to watch despite really having to watch it. I had the feeling that this film could easily be that movie that I liked despite being stuck in the house for an entire day.
While vacationing abroad with her boyfriend Callum, January sustains a tragic motor scooter accident that renders her with amnesia and confined to a wheel chair. The only suitable place for recovery is her family’s estate, the very same family that she’d been estranged from for over six years. Will January overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and see a full recovery? Or will her stay open up some of the dreadful wounds of why she’d retreated to begin with?
As you can guess the film opens to your normal there's been an accident and one of the main characters of the film has been hurt. The director immediately gets the viewer to easily get behind the two young lovers of the film January and Callum. Making the viewer feel what the character is feeling. Love, passion, and fear. Making you want to be that character because immediately you're drawn to that personality of the character. The director makes you feel the emotions of everything thats going on between and then BAM! He slaps you across the face with tragedy. Callum's scooter slams into another car and throws them from it. Injuring both but more along the lines January suffers the terrible injury of a back injury and is rendered paralyzed from her waist down and also gets a double whammy as she has suffered a case of amnesia. Not remembering her past at all.
Now as we are led along by the feelings of anxiety and fear all thanks to the acting skills of Amy Manson who makes us feel sorry for her character January as she struggles to cope with the accident and the recovery of her memories. All while we are left with Simon Quarterman's performance of Callum whose struggling with his own feelings of guilt as he struggles trying to live with the blame he has placed on himself for everything that has happened to January. But its all twisted and turned when January's family enters the picture and is revealed that she left some years ago under mysterious circumstances that she now cannot remember due to the amnesia but also that Callum knows that something was wrong but was never fully told the real story as to why she left her family in the first place.
Tensions do rise between January and members of her family that unfold into terrifying moments in the movie. Making their behavior towards January more frightening as the movie goes on and makes you wonder what really makes this family tick even when you can easily see that the mother of this family is so far gone from reality that you have to wonder what really happened in the past. What really makes this film creepy and otherwise unnerving is the location in which it was filmed. The giant sized manor in which the film takes place offers up a dip into the world of what can be hidden behind its walls such as debauchery and evil.
Estranged is definitely what I would consider a roller coaster film in which you are driven around a bunch of feelings to feel and left wondering what more can come of this film. Its slow pace pays off in the end giving the viewer exactly what they want and the viewing of January's origins. This film leaves the viewer pondering over their thought after the credits have rolled and makes them think about what they have just saw. For Levins this film is excellent, he had a decent cast that had the acting skills to make you fall for their acting as well as his eye for details in making the viewer squirm. I will have to say in the end of it I will recommend this film to everyone who reads this because this is a film that needs to be seen. For a director whose only other nod in the film industry was a documentary this being his first full length film then he knocked it out of the park and it deserves to be seen by the public.
reviewed by Bucky