Breaking Bad with The Breach at Fantasia 2022

29 Jul

The Breach PosterFans of Craig Davidson’s scary stories will be in for a treat in the film adaptation of The Breach. Technically, he writes under the pen name of Nick Cutter when crafting horror. Although changes were made, the cinematic version honours the literary piece well. It is like The X-files meets Psi Factor meets (a what if) Prequel to Evil Dead.

This movie from Rue Morgue Magazine founder and sometimes filmmaker Rodrigo Gudiño, and GnR guitarist turned executive movie producer Slash, is a brooding piece of terror. I’m glad his involvement lays more in crafting a few atmospheric tones instead of making it completely heavy metal.

To say H.P. Lovecraft’s works are an influence is a stretch. Ultimately, it depends on what fans understand of this author’s vision. I’ve read every work he wrote and also studied the various expositions about his life which have seeped into his work. His idealisms and attitude were a product of the times. His stories were about secret orders and eldrich mindless gods. At other times, what he wrote was simply about mortals involved in mad science experiments. Not every tale he wrote is about this subject, and often, what happens to his hapless protagonists are beyond their control. They stumble into incomprehensible situations and often go insane. What I like from this author are his tales of cosmic horror rather than Reanimator.

In this film, Sheriff John Hawkins (Allan Hawco) is looking forward to his reassignment. He is glad to leave the quiet life at Lone Crow Reservation to a position in the big city. But he has to put his plans on hold after a mangled body is found. Both him and his deputy Connie (Mary Antonini), are required to investigate; and what he discovers leads him down a dangerous path of mystery. It looks like he is stuck in the outbacks of the Yukon just a little longer.

He and coroner Jacob (Wesley French) suspect the remains are that of theoretical physicist Graham Raphelson (Adam Kenneth Wilson). Given that he left his job, turned up in the boonies and lived in seclusion, nobody knows if he’s dead or alive because he doesn’t stay in contact with anyone. Even this scientist’s wife, Linda (Natalie Brown), is involved, but for John’s ex and her boyfriend, this subplot is not as richly developed.

THE BREACH MONSTER

I kept on thinking about the case of the Montauk Monster while watching The Breach. Nobody ever understood if it was an animal or something else. Unlike the film, it is a whole body and could be identified. In this case, nobody knew where it came from or if it was a genetic abnormality. It’s possible that the beast escaped and drowned before washing up on the river. Additionally, since these reports didn’t say the body was taken away or washed back to sea, it became an urban legend.

With this in mind, I thought about what the group were after. Do they really want to know why Raphelson is conducting crazy experiments? Because he is a physicist, I suspect he wanted to discover the means to travel through wormholes! The fact that he built a gate in the shape of a keyhole is very telling. But when considering what he’s unlocked is frightening, I’m anxiously waiting for the aliens to appear.

Or, it could be something else. It’s possible the human body can’t survive the ravages of space-time distortion. The chatter between Connie and her associates includes mention of jiffy peanut butter and black holes. So, I have to wonder. When considering there’s something buzzing, I hoped for a classic Lovecraft monster to appear, but knew this film would not go down that route. Also, no one was going to successfully cross dimensions like in Dreams in the Witch House.

The Breach is a slow burn, and I needed a second watch to truly appreciate it. Also, some of the character development isn’t as well rounded as I hoped. That’s unusual when considering I love Gudiño’s last work, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012). Ultimately, the problem may well lay in the fact he is out of practice. At least he loves his body horror, and can deliver those moments in closeups, for fans of this subgenre uncompromised.

4 Stars out of 5

The Breach Movie Trailer

This movie screened at Fantasia Film Festival 2022 on July 25 and will be given a wider release by Raven Banner Entertainment in the coming months.

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