Is the Redeeming a Stormy Ride?

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

within photographs?

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

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