There are tons of horror films being created and released almost daily. Some receive numerous TV spots on your favorite channels, while others get little to no marketing treatment whatsoever. Still, with all of these films being presented to the horror community, fans constantly claim there is no originality left, everything is just a remake or reboot, etc. When original and creative films come along, however, do they really get the credit they deserve? One film that certainly isn’t being talked about nearly enough is Adam Levins’ Estranged.
After a near-fatal scooter accident leaves her unable to walk and suffering from long-term memory loss, January (Amy Manson, TV’s “Once Upon a Time”) returns to her childhood home. Due to her amnesia, January has no recollection of her childhood or why she had left her family in the first place. While her memories take longer to come back than initially anticipated, January still begins to suspect that something just isn’t quite right with her family…
Formerly titled January, this film was a mystery to me upon its arrival at my door. Judging from the cover art of the home release, I thought I was getting myself into another low-budget supernatural flick that I really had no interest in at all. Thankfully, Estranged is not a supernatural film in any sense of the word and although the budget may be lower than most mainstream horror flicks, it came out looking wonderful. The production value is fantastic and the film looks great from start to finish.
I typically like to keep my reviews spoiler-free because it is my goal to have you guys watch the films yourselves and share your thoughts/opinions. Because of this, it is hard to go into too much detail about Estranged. What I will touch on, however, is how the film evolves throughout its 92 minute run-time. As January’s intuition that something just isn’t right with her family begins to become more apparently true, the film takes a darker turn, almost into revenge flick territory. While I classify it as such, Estranged is definitely different from most revenge flicks out there today. It is very story driven with interesting characters and an innovative script that just isn’t seen often enough and the true ‘revenge’ part doesn’t come until the very last 15 minutes or so.
Every actor making up Estranged‘s cast portrays their character wonderfully. Each performance was executed beautifully with not one weak link in the chain. Amy Manson’s January was a strong lead protagonist that you really get behind the entire time, while James Cosmo (Troy, TV’s “Game of Thrones”) was the perfect choice for the strong-armed patriarch of the antagonist family. Cosmo is a brooding man who at age 67 is still a force to be reckoned with, especially in this type of setting.
Adam Levins’ Estranged may have flown under your horror radar, but I implore you to take a chance with this one. It is unpredictable, features a strong cast, and an entertaining script. If you are looking for originality and creativity in your horror films, this one for sure deserves a watch. Estranged is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD from Well Go USA Entertainment.
I give this one 3.5 unmarked graves out of 5.