Z Blu-ray | ©2020 RLJE Films/Shudder

Z Blu-ray | ©2020 RLJE Films/Shudder

Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Keegan Connor Tracy, Jeff Klyne, Sean Rogerson, Sara Canning, Stephen McHattie, Luke Moore, Deborah Ferguson
Writers: Brandon Christensen & Colin Minihan
Director: Brandon Christensen
Distributor: RLJE Films/Shudder
Release Date (VOD, DVD, Blu-ray): September 1, 2020

Z is a genuinely scary “imaginary friend” film. Director Brandon Christensen, who co-wrote the screenplay with Colin Minihan, creates an atmosphere that packs a wallop. What the story may lack in certain explanations, it makes up for with fear.

Beth (Keegan Connor Tracy) and Kevin (Sean Rogerson) are a happily married upscale couple. They mutually adore their eight-year-old son Josh (Jeff Klyne). The family is under a bit of stress, as Beth’s mother (Deborah Ferguson) is dying, and Beth’s younger sister Jenna (Sara Canning) drinks too much and can’t cope with the impending loss.

At the same time, Josh begins chatting with his invisible-to-us new friend, Z. Josh plays with Z, confides in him, and even insists that a place be set for him at the table. This is not unusual behavior for a child. Then Beth finds out the hard way that Josh has been acting up at school. A crude floor-to-ceiling painting of Z appears on the wall in Josh’s room. And then Beth gets a glimpse of Z.

Things escalate from here. Because neither we nor Beth know when Z is liable to show himself, or what he’s going to do, every time he shows up, it’s a shock. This is a real achievement on director Christensen’s part, since we’re often primed for the appearance of something. There’s great use of elements like reflections, small lights, and minor sounds. Movement also plays a big part here, with little unnatural swerves producing highly unnerving effects.

However, following Z as a narrative, we can’t help but notice some glitches. A minor one is that neither Beth nor Kevin expresses any curiosity about how little Josh can get his artwork of Z to go all the way up to the ceiling. More major ones come later as revelations are made that lead to more questions than answers. At first, not knowing the ground rules for Z makes him even more menacing, but as the movie proceeds, there are some logic issues that we’d like addressed. We can also wish that, although Rogerson gives a solid performance, Kevin wasn’t quite such a standard-issue-horror-movie-dolt of a husband.

Tracy is empathetic and nuanced as the increasingly frightened Beth, Klyne is very good as Josh, and Stephen McHattie shows up as a kindly therapist.

Production values, especially Bradley Stuckel’s cinematography and Mike Kasper’s production design, are strong. Brittany Allen contributes a score that heightens the tension.

Z is relatively brief – an hour and twenty-three minutes – but in that time, it succeeds in making the viewer exceptionally tense. It is simple, but frightening.

Related: Movie Review: EMPEROR
Related: Movie Review: BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC
Related: Movie Review: THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD
Related: Movie Review: ENTWINED
Related: Movie Review: TESLA
Related: Movie Review: RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE
Related: Movie Review: CUT THROAT CITY
Related: Movie Review: WATCH LIST
Related: Movie Review: MURDER IN THE WOODS
Related: 
Movie Review: THE BAY OF SILENCE
Related: Movie Review: THE SECRET GARDEN
Related: Movie Review: THE RENTAL
Related: Movie Review: LIMBO
Related: Movie Review: THE HOST
Related: Movie Review: THE FIGHT
Related: Movie Review: THE OLD GUARD
Related: Movie Review: AMULET
Related: Movie Review: A DEADLY LEGEND
Related: Movie Review: GHOSTS OF WAR
Related: Movie Review: RELIC
Related: Movie Review: THE BEACH HOUSE
Related: Movie Review: BELZEBUTH
Related: Movie Review: JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
Related: Movie Review: FOUR KIDS AND IT
Related: Movie Review: FOLLOWED
Related: Movie Review: YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT
Related: Movie Review: MISS JUNETEENTH
Related: Movie Review: DRIVEN
Related: Movie Review: THE SURROGATE
Related: Movie Review: THE COLLINI CASE
Related: Movie Review: DREAMLAND
Related: Movie Review: SHIRLEY
Related: Movie Review: JUDY &  PUNCH
Related: Movie Review: END OF SENTENCE
Related: Movie Review: EQUAL STANDARD
Related: Movie Review: EVIL LITTLE THINGS
Related: Movie Review: VALLEY GIRL (2020)
Related: Movie Review: TROLLS WORLD TOUR
Related: Movie Review: SEA FEVER
Related: Movie Review: WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS
Related: Movie Review: VIVARIUM
Related: Movie Review: BLOODSHOT
Related: Movie Review: THE POSTCARD KILLINGS
Related: Movie Review: THE BANKER
Related: Movie Review: ONWARD
Related: Movie Review: RUN THIS TOWN
Related: Movie Review: ESCAPE FROM PRETORIA
Related: Movie Review: THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)
Related: Movie Review: FANTASY ISLAND
Related: Movie Review: COME TO DADDY
Related: Movie Review: THE LODGE
Related: Movie Review: THE GENTLEMEN
Related: Movie Review: THREE CHRISTS
Related: Movie Review: CLEMENCY
Related: Movie Review: LITTLE WOMEN
Related: Movie Review: 1917
Related: Movie Review: JUST MERCY
Related: Movie Review: BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019)
Related: Movie Review: RICHARD JEWELL
Related: Movie Review: DANIEL ISN’T REAL
Related: Movie Review: LITTLE JOE
Related: Movie Review: KNIVES OUT
Related: Movie Review: QUEEN & SLIM
Related: Movie Review: FROZEN II

Follow us on Twitter at ASSIGNMENT X
Like us on Facebook at ASSIGNMENT X

Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Movie Review: Z

 

Related Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

CAPTCHA Image
*

Increase your website traffic with Attracta.com
bottom round