After nearly drowning at her bestie’s lakeside engagement party, Madison (Michelle Mylett) becomes hydrophobic to the point that a year later she misses her friend’s wedding because it is raining. Frustrated with Madison’s condition, her friends attempt a séance to rid her of her fear. In doing so, they unleash Sebastian Donner (Ry Barrett) – a supernatural killer known as The Drownsman. Madison is now in a race against time as Donner picks off her friends one by one using his command of water as his method of death.
With heavy influence from Wes Craven, Chad Archibald (Neverlost, Ejecta) creates a work that pays homage to A Nightmare on Elm St., Shocker and other 80’s killer-driven horror films. The Drownsman appears to be an attempt at creating the next big horror franchise, however it borrows too much from its influences to be considered original enough to find a home in the pantheon of horror.
The muted colors, noiresque lighting and just the right layer of grime create world of utter dismay. The Drownsman meanders in the middle only to be drawn back to focus with an ending that is both fast-paced and nerve-wracking.
Michelle Mylett (Antisocial) adds another fine performance to her growing list of horror film appearances. I look forward to seeing her in the recently announced Antisocial 2.
Despite it’s derivative nature, The Drownsman is a largely enjoyable horror offering. I don’t see this spawning multiple sequels destined to be remade 20 or 30 years down the road.