Having it’s Toronto premiere at the Blood In The Snow Festival, Z is probably one of the more downbeat and therefore ballsy horror films I have seen in a while.
When Elizabeth (Tracy) and Kevin’s (Rogerson) child Joshua (Klyne) begins to start talking to an imaginary friend, Z. Joshua is a lonely kid so it seems logical that he will create an imaginary friend.
However, when Joshua begins to misbehave and his parents get ostracised, it becomes apparent that there is a problem. Is Z real? Or is Joshua ill?
Z is a low budget affair but cinematographer Bradley Stuckel and director Brandon Christensen do a great job in making it look so damn good. Every scene looks great and Christensen finds away to shoot around any budgetary restraints. Minihan and Christensen have written a twisted tale here, giving every character an arc that suits the film. Barring one or two really obvious expository scenes, the script moves along a nice pace before taking a wild turn (for the better). Whilst this turn doesn’t quite get explored fully, the direction the film goes is very brave.
Tracy is excellent as Elizabeth, as she gets worn down throughout the film, she conveys her frustration and anexity whilst Rogerson’s Kevin is kind of a big kid as parent (we all know – or are – one of those) and Klyne plays Joshua as the stony faced, weird son with the right amount of innocence and creepy ambivalence.
Z is a nice take on the creepy kid/imaginary friend film that doesn’t go exactly where you think it does. The film could have really gone to a very unexpected place that I can’t mention for the sake of any spoilers but where the film ends and how it ends is a gutsy decision on the part of the filmmakers and certainly doesn’t give the audience any easy ways out.
Played at BITS
Ryan Morrrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78