Suspension brings together a bunch of familiar elements from different horror films and manages to blend them into the mix of the film and it ends up as a pretty satisfying slasher.
Emily (Ellen MacNevin) is a high schooler whose father just happened to be a psycho killer and massacred a bunch of unfortunate people sometime ago. Now with school being the absolute worst, of course there are bullying kids and Emily cops it a lot. She has an absent mother and has to look after her little brother. Her escape is to draw comics that are related to her dads murder spree. It is from that we get the interspersed real life with the comic book story. Emily’s brother Jeremy wants her to tell more of the story, thus to draw more art.
As Emily, Ellen MacNevin has the film piled up on her shoulders but she carries it off with a great performance, managing sweet, shy and a little bit out there all together, so you can be empathetic toward her and her situation. The rest of the cast ranges from good to ok but none of them get the time nor development that Emily does.
Lando has carved out something pretty cool here. By using the comic book style (seen in 300 and Sin City but on a vastly scaled back level) Lando puts an emphasis on the colour red and muting other colours – not a new thing in horror (see: Don’t Look Now) but it really works when you’ve considered the frame he is working in. Some of the dark and shadowy moments are touch too dark but that is minor quibble and doesn’t effect the film in anyway.
Writer Mosley has very nicely woven in the twists and turns in what on the surface is a straight survival slasher but it certainly goes deeper than that. There are a few moments when you thought you knew what was coming up next, only to have it turned inside out, with the exception of the end twist which you can pick a while off but keep second guessing because you think the film won’t go that way purely because its easy to see coming. That being said its a smart script using old ideas and tropes and tired character traits in new ways.
Suspension is a good, fun watch with plenty of bloody kills to keep the kill hounds happy, kind of like the film you used to find at the Video store (when they existed) yet this film rises above its budget slasher roots and I think it is definitely worth seeing.
Image: IMDb & creepyla.com