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Review: The Unraveling – “Relentless”

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The basic premise of The Unraveling shares a basic plot strand with 2013’s Evil Dead. Both feature a main character who is a drug addict who is taken into the woods to deal with it. Thomas Jakobsen’s film goes a different way, but is full of scares and creepy moments.

Going into the film you would not be wrong to think you had seen this all before. A bunch of people go into the woods, bad things happen, and there may be a Slasher type big bad. However, The Unraveling takes these basic cliches and does great things with them.

Just when you think it is going one way, it changes and this happens a few times throughout. Therefore, I won’t go into more detail about the plot, as it is well worth watching this knowing as little about it as possible.

Zack Gold is the lead character, Michael, whose life seems to be unravelling as he comes down from his last hit. It is made all the worse for being out in the woods. That setting helps add so much to the events. At times it all feels wide and open and then it suddenly becomes small and claustrophobic. There is great use of the scenery throughout and the cinematography on the film helps lift what could have been a bog standard kind of thriller.

The performances from all involved are fantastic and also help elevate the film to one that will stay with you for a long time. The fact that all the actors are playing definite characters and not just nameless victims draws you into the film. You want to know more about them and how they all got to know each other. This is something more thriller and horror filmmakers need to remember. The more you care about the characters the more involved you are with the film.

When things go bad for the main characters the tension keeps cranking up. There is the odd release, but on the whole once it starts it just builds. As the film is only 85 minutes long it also doesn’t overstay its welcome.

The action is fast-paced and relentless with your understanding of the events and the reasons behind them changing throughout.

Well written, well directed, well acted and well worth a watch.

The Unraveling is out now on DVD from Matchbox Films.

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