Review: THE CHILD REMAINS Is Best Left Buried Away

FIRST IMPRESSION

The Child Remains has some ambitious moments, but for the most part doesn't deliver, with an end result that is sadly messy and unenjoyable.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

The Child Remains is a new mystery-horror film written and directed by Michael Melski. The movie follows a pregnant investigative journalist who goes on an intimate getaway with her partner in a secluded inn in an attempt to help with her PTSD, only to discover that the inn is haunted by a dark past.

This film claims to be based on a true story, but the movie more than likely stretched the truth in many ways. A majority of the film plays out in a very straightforward way, not deviating from the typical beats of a supernatural thriller. However, the movie takes a ridiculous twist heading into the final act, and by that point, you will already be checked out of the film.

The character development in the movie is truly horrendous. By the time the film ends, there are so many leaps in logic that there is no way in the world that these could be real people. The protagonist’s partner is a particularly frustrating character because, around the midway point, he has a change in character that turns him from the most likable person in the story to little more than a cardboard cutout.

In terms of pacing, the movie is extremely uneven. The beginning of the film is nice and slow, like the slow burn mystery it should be, but that mystery is solved about three-quarters of the way through the movie, pushing it into standard horror territory. That being said, since there was only about a quarter of the film left for this purely horror portion, it feels extremely rushed and over-the-top.

The movie manages to build suspense pretty well in the first hour or so despite the fact that the ending is rather predictable. Instead of waiting to figure out what is going to happen, you are waiting to find out when the characters are going to figure it out. However, in the second half of the film, it switches into a series of bad decisions being made by stupid characters — the most basic (and frustrating) of horror tropes.

The acting in the movie is also quite disappointing. Shelley Thompson gives an enjoyably wacky supporting turn as the odd innkeeper, but no one else in the film is noteworthy. Neither Suzanne Clément, nor Allan Hawco is able to bring any true emotion to their role. Hawco is particularly wooden, but not all of the blame can be placed on him. Furthermore, they have no chemistry together.

It is on a technical level that the movie is most ambitious, but even then, it is not particularly successful. Some sequences are edited in a way that you can tell that the filmmakers were trying to do something new and original, but instead, they stick out like a sore thumb in the sea of mediocrity that is the rest of the film.

Overall, The Child Remains was not a particularly interesting movie. It is too long, uneven, and straightforward to really be worth your time.

The Child Remains hits theaters and VOD on June 7.

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Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

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