Review: Threshold (2021)

  • Directors: Powell Robinson, Patrick Robert Young
  • Writers: Patrick Robert Young
  • Stars:  Joey Millin, Madison West, Nadine Sondej-Robinson, Daniel Abraham Stevens 


Powell Robinson and Patrick Robert Young team up for their second joint effort (they’ve both done a lot individually) Threshold after their first film Bastard (which I really liked) and it’s a very different film but the ingenuity and ability of both of these guys is on show. Shot over twelve days on iphones, with a crew of three Threshold is an exercise in what you can do with minimal budget & talented people.

After getting word that his sister needs help, Leo (Millin) grabs her from her apartment. She is out of it and naturally he assumes that she is using drugs. Virginia is adamant of two things – 1. She is clean and not on drugs 2. She is cursed. She convinces Leo to go on road trip to try and break this curse, with the caveat being if there is no curse or anything at the end of their destination, she will go into rehab.

Little by little we find out more about Virginia’s past and what may or may not have happened to her and we find out more about Leo and Virginia’s strained and estranged relationship. As they road trip, they also sort out some issues or at least drag them out into the light. It’s clever the way Young has entwined Virginia’s issues, Leo’s issues, Leo and Virginia’s issues with each other and the possibility that there is something supernatural might be at play. Millin and West bounce off each other so well, it just really helps you get onboard with the these characters and has you hope that they’ll figure things out. The film rises on this relationship and both actors do a great job.

Powell and Young gets some very nice shots out of the phones they are shooting with, framing some excellent images and managing to make the film look like it wasn’t shot on location and in twelve days. These guys are talented and hopefully they’ll get a shot at a bigger film in the future (if that’s what they want).

Threshold isn’t a jump scare fest but one that relies on building the atmosphere to build the scares. That you don’t know if any of it is real or if it is just a manifestation of a sister with mental illness and a brother desperately trying to connect and ignore his own life, further pushes that atmosphere. The ending doesn’t offer any easy answers either and it is something that I am still thinking about.

Threshold is available on Arrow Video streaming.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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