Cast: Tracey Ann Wood, Ryan Wichert, Robert Blackwood
Director: Brian Barnes
Writer: Roger Thomas
Synopsis: An injured young man and a woman take shelter one stormy night in an isolated
house. The man comes to realise that the woman and the house aren’t what they seem.
Review: The Redeeming is a low-budget British thriller/mystery. The film relies heavily on
conversation over action. The dialogue is predominantly between the two main characters Joyce (Tracey Ann Wood) and John (Ryan Wichert).
The film begins on a stormy night with Joyce out walking. She arrives back home only to be
confronted by a knock on the door shortly afterwards. A stranger (John) has injured his arm
and needs shelter from the storm.
Much of the film is led by the emotional and jittery performance of Tracey Ann Wood
(Joyce). Joyce lives in the house with her absent husband, but her inconsistencies and
erratic behaviour make you question how much of what she is saying is true. The back and
forth chat has a stage-type feel – I wondered if this was the style the writer and director
wanted, as I felt it made the film feel awkward at times and a little old-fashioned.
There are breadcrumbs left throughout the film that allude to what is actually happening.
Joyce’s story just doesn’t add up. We see the magazine cover headlining the same story
Joyce told John, as if it were her own. Is this a film about her psychological battle? Or, is it a
ghost story, seeking to unease us with moments like ghostly whispers and changing people
There are times when the low-budget for the film comes into play. The storm is
unconvincing despite being shot in Somerset during the floods of winter 2013 and 2014. The
cuts to outside the house are a break from the intense conversation, but the footage shown
only reminds the viewer of the low-budget. The acting becomes hesitant during scenes of
violence and it feels like the characters are reluctant to completely let go.
The film does create some suspenseful moments, and those paired with the psychological
aspects allow you to forgo some details which could have been improved.
The work that has gone into The Redeeming isn’t something that has been overlooked. The
film has been nominated for the National Film Awards under category of ‘Best Thriller’ and
is up against some big Hollywood films such as Annihilation. Be sure to keep an eye on the
awards later this month (March) for the outcome.
Written by Rebecca Perkin