The Remains review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
The Remains is a psychological horror flick directed and penned by the same guy, i.e.Thomas Della Bella, starring Todd Lowe, Brooke Butler, Hannah Nordberg, and Dash Williams among other actors. If someone would’ve asked me 10 years ago about the critical en passé pertaining to this piece, I would probably said that it is as watchable as two smelly pigeons making it happen on the rooftop of a 50 year-old shanty shack in rural China. However, the passing of years makes one wiser, so if you’d asked me today about the opinion regarding The Remains, I’d say: Nah.
This film plays its cards safe: it’s a horror flick featuring a standard haunted house that lit as a Catholic Christmas tree during an Orthodox graduation party. See, often the done-to-death genre of horror films fall victim to poorly lit set pieces that only end up obfuscating the main story if anything else. The Remains suffers from showing the audiences everything there is to be seen, thus falling into a trap on the opposite side of the spectrum – failing to build mystery as it goes. Which is strange to say the least, since the film features a decent effort in regards to the cinematography from people who clearly know their craft, and now it well.
The actors all do their parts well, with the exception of Hannah Nordberg who knocks this one right out of the park – and then some. But The Remains falters midway as cracks in the screenplay begin to surface. For instance, some of the most important scenes ended up being underwhelming, while the mundane ones were overplayed to a general dismay of the audience. Plus, some spots were given the extra layer of dialogue, which didn’t do much as far as story and narrative progression goes. Finally, some of the characters were showcased as different threads of already existing characters, so they could’ve mashed them together without losing any momentum or suspense – to a lack of a better word.
There are some positives though: the music feels OK-ish, although sometimes it felt like it was too loud at certain points or too soft at others (and laid too thick across the entire feature). Apart from that, there isn’t much else to say about The Remains; and this may be due to the fact that it’s Thomas Della Bella’s first film feature, hopefully in many more to come.
The final verdict would be to see The Remains, muster a laugh or two from it, and forget that it ever existed in the first place. The alternative would be to never ever see The Remains for the remainder of your life, which is just as good. Anyway, it’s up to you.