Film Review: The Breach (Fantasia International Film Festival)
That’s a wrap for Fantasia International Film Festival, one of the most important events in Canada for breakout films of the horror, SciFi and fantasy genre. While we wished it would never end, we are indebted to it for bringing us films like THE BREACH. Well established Director Rodrigo Gudiño (THE LAST WIILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH) has made a memorable high-concept SciFi-Horror.
THE BREACH had its world premiere at this year’s festival with the help of the folks at Rue Morgue and Raven Banner Entertainment. It is a Canadian production with an impressive team behind it, including music icon Slash as producer, and horror author Nick Cutter, author of fantastically gruesome novels such as THE TROOP, as screenwriter. THE BREACH is based on Cutter’s novel of the same name. The film is a must-see for seasoned horror fanatics and lovers of gory, gloopy body horror. For others less specifically obsessed, it may be a bit of a letdown.
Just as chief of police John Hawkins (Allan Hawco) is set to resign, an inexplicably mutilated dead body washes up in a canoe on the Porcupine River. As the county coroner, Jake (Wesley French), puts it, “holy shit, where are the bones?” After discovering that the remains are that of particle physicist Dr Cole Parsons, John, Jake, and their charter captain Meg (Emily Alatalo) arrive at his secluded rental. There they find hives of insects, Parson’s estranged wife (Natalie Brown), and a mysterious machine in the attic. What happens in that house becomes a nightmare filled with unfathomable horrors of the body.
THE BREACH features some of the most impressive body horror and practical effects I have witnessed this year. We even see them in all their glory with plenty of daytime scenes to appreciate the work that has gone into prosthetics and makeup. It’s always awesome when you don’t have to peer through shadows to see everything.
THE BREACH features humanoid monsters, skin sloughing off and just about every extra body part growing back on- everything that makes a gory bodily transformation worthy of its own applause. Although I would love to go into detail, the particulars are too good to spoil. If you are not a fan of the things described above, well, maybe after watching THE BREACH, you will change your mind and see the fun!
THE BREACH is a film packed with a variety of plot content that, while marvellously executed on an individual level, jumbles together. By trying to have all its different concepts materialised- including trans-dimensional science fiction, a haunted house, black magic and killer insects- the film dilutes them all. THE BREACH is an ambitious attempt at actualising a complicated novel onto the screen, and it was mostly well executed. It could have been more enjoyable were we not sometimes trying to make sense of plot points that went unexplained. THE BREACH evidently intends to be a Lovecraftian tale. While the ‘cosmic horror’ element was there, it felt too muffled by everything else to really embrace.
In a technical sense, THE BREACH is fantastic; it is one spectacular shot after another. THE BREACH gives us a wide opportunity to appreciate its filming location. The film could get by on this alone if it had to, but it has enough going for it that it doesn’t need to. The film’s excellent cinematography and amazing special effects more than make up for the points where I was confused- but having fun nonetheless!
“The film is a must-see for seasoned horror fanatics and lovers of gory, gloopy body horror”