MOVIE REVIEW: Threshold (2020)
Mumblecore, a genre all unto itself. It is the marmite of film: you either go along for the ride or, you don't.
Strapping yourself in for the road trip that is Threshold, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is not a horror film at all and, wishing to not give too much away, you'd be almost correct. 90 percent.
If you have no money and want to film an improvisational indie on iPhones, with no crew, you could do far worse than this. To put it into the context of other Arrow Video releases of late, this is quite a dropoff; After Midnight, The Deeper You Dig, Resolution, and other films of a similar ilk have borne much more fruit off the branch.
It has been said that the more uses of the word ''Fuck'', the less scripted a film is. Improv can be a wonderful way of getting to the truth, and a scene can truly come alive with this technique. It can also feel forced, fake and amateurish. Threshold's strongest asset is the chemistry between the two main actors, and this is a film where even the other characters in a scene sometimes cannot be...seen. They are estranged siblings who, for contrived reasons, have been brought together. When they are back in each other's lives, fireworks are going to fly. And that is it, pretty much. The film has a skeletal backbone of a plot involving a drug addiction past, and a cult, leading up to a creepy climax that crashes into the horror promised for the first hour.
Madison West playing the sister, Virginia, is by far the best thing here. She plays a character you are not sure about the motivations and convictions of. Her brother is sceptical; how can he believe her far-fetched story, and it's this pairing that pulls along a film that is a hard slog for much of its running time. West goes through many facets of personality and shows real character; you could be watching a star in the making. Brie Larson, watch out.
As for a horror film? Well, decide for yourself. The last 10 minutes takes you into that territory, but for the most part, this is a short, no-budget effort that gives a good try and ends up winning by force alone.
Threshold debuts on Arrow in the UK, US & Canada 3rd May