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  Curtain Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Shower
Year: 2015
Director: Jaron Henrie-McCrea
Stars: Danni Smith, Tim Lueke, Martin Monahan, Rick Zahn, Chuck McMahon, Preston Lawrence, Gregory Konow
Genre: Horror, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A dishevelled man wakes up on the New York subway, apparently after a bad dream. He gathers his latest purchases and disembarks, then heads for home, a small apartment. One distinguishing feature is the bathroom door has been enthusiastically taped shut, but the man produces a craft knife and cuts it open, then goes inside to see... a perfectly ordinary bathroom. Apart from one thing, the shower curtain is missing, so it's just as well he has brought a new one - or is it? When he puts it up over the bath, something terrible occurs that sees him slit his own throat with the knife, but what could possibly force a man to do that?

It's a difficult thing, coming up with original ideas, and the danger with doing something nobody has done before in the realm of the movies was that there was a very good reason why it had never been hitherto attempted, and that was because it hadn't been thought through or was actually utterly ridiculous, and not in a good way. You could take an existing premise and add an incongruous element to make something new (or new-ish) and the strength of what had succeeded before could go some way to succeeding again, but anything truly original was running the risk of looking so out there that you turn the audience off from minute one to the end of the story.

If indeed you included a story and didn't opt for a succession of weird shit going down for ninety minutes. That wasn't exactly what director Jaron Henrie-McCrea tried here, it was barely over an hour in duration for a start, not including the end credits, but he and his co-writer Carys Edwards evidently had an appetite for the offbeat, hence their plot about a shower curtain that may be haunted, or may not have been, but what was clear was it was causing some sort of trouble in a supernatural vein. The new owner of the apartment in question is Danni (theatre star Danni Smith) who is trying to get to grips with her life after her hospice job left her utterly drained emotionally and physically.

When we meet her she has a job for a charity, trying to drum up support for saving whales which are under threat from whalers, and you think yeah, yeah, it's one of those do-gooder gets their comeuppance horror stories, meanspirited and redundant. However, stick with this and though we were invited to take a point of view on Danni's charity work, it wasn't necessarily as down on the idea as you might expect, actually her co-worker and friend Tim (Tim Lueke, also sharing his name with his character for no reason explained) is more in that clueless trend and will become instrumental in the twist ending (which to be honest was too obvious come the final five minutes). In the meantime, there was a mystery to solve: what was going on with the titular curtain?

Danni works out that each time she puts up a curtain for the shower, seconds after closing the bathroom door it will disappear, so modern devices being what they are, she films this incident on her phone camera. When Tim sees it, he is excited by the cosmic possibilities that are plain to nobody but himself, but nevertheless they team up with a plan to trace the whereabouts of the missing objects... to say any more would be to give too many surprises away for what plotwise was reminiscent of Hellraiser crossed with Being John Malkovich, only ploughing its own particular furrow, not quite a comedy and not really all that scary either, simply odd and after a modest fashion, quite engaging with it. It joined a selection of weirdo horror, from the big budget Cabin in the Woods to the smaller budget John Dies at the End, that emerged at the start of the twenty-first century; not to every taste, but with some substance to it when it dedicated itself do admirably trying something different. Music by Adam Skerritt.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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