Directed by Sonny mallhi, written by Mallhi and Salomon Gray, To injureThe general premise of s involves a soldier returning home to his wife, and when the two of them make their way to one of their favorite Halloween haunts, an evil follows them home. While this is an important part of the movie, To injure has a lot more to do beyond that – in particular, he has a lot of emotional fear that creates uncomfortable tension. When Tommy (André Creer) goes home to his wife Rose (Emily van raay), we feel a distance between the two; We’re never told how long Tommy has been gone, but audiences are able to understand that these two are struggling in their relationship.
Part of the film’s unease passes in the silence; when Rose and Tommy are together, the silence between them is sad. The stress in Tommy’s voice as he tries to speak or connect with his wife creates a heartbreaking tune, an element that only intensifies as Rose struggles to keep their spark alive. With the camera lingering on still moments between them – the sound of buzzing insects in the background colliding with the silence – the film establishes this terrible terror. This tune is by far one of the To injureThe strongest qualities of, because as the audience spends more time with Rose and Tommy, the atmosphere only grows, becoming more stressful, sad, and even angry at times.
From act one through act two, the couple decide to head out to one of their favorite Halloween attractions. Rose loves Halloween, and after Tommy has a minor breakdown in their house, he says they should both take off. The movie does a great job of “show and don’t tell,” as it’s able to piece together that Tommy is struggling with PTSD. Her internal struggles manifest in different ways, with Rose doing her best to focus on the good, even as her sister Lily (Stephanie Moran) tries to point out that something is wrong with him.
There is a brief flashback to the couple’s wedding night where we see them laughing and smiling among their loved ones. During their stay at the lair, the two laugh and have fun. Pairing these moments with the more depressing scenes of the couple’s relationship, it’s relatively easy to take care of these characters with sincerity. Considering the kind of roller coaster the movie offers in acts one and two, I wanted Rose and Tommy to catch that beautiful spark that was once in their relationship. However, Tommy ends up having an episode of anxiety and leaves Rose – this is where the more self-explanatory part of the horror-focused film comes in.
For a while I thought To injure can take the ’emotional horror’ approach – conveying a narrative shrouded in mystique and aimed to anger audiences with tones of distress, uncertainty and dread. To be fair, that’s a lot of what To injure does – a lot of it actually. Still, there’s a physical element to it in terms of stalker-esque horror as well. This part of the stalker is a double-edged sword for the film – creating effective tension, but also contributing to the film’s one big problem.
Funny enough, the marketing behind To injure mentions that these are the producers of The foreigners and The darkness and the wicked – and just like these two films, To injure is basically using a petty approach. But, while these other movies use their petty tales to say something, To injureThe message is muddy at best, if not cruel and unnecessary at worst.
In its first and second acts, To injure is a brutal film in terms of appalling atmosphere and violence; Hell, most physical abuse happens offscreen, but the sound design is so effective that the mind could run wild with overwhelming possibilities. And when there is violence on screen, it is horribly awful. The dynamic between Rose and Tommy is captivating, giving viewers a plethora of feelings and creating a real way to connect with them and hope to do their best. The atmosphere of To injure is intriguing and creepy throughout, almost reaching a level of physics in its strain.
There is so much to do To injure, but its ending leaves a lot to be desired. The twist does little to liven up the experience or add anything substantial to the film’s central relationship. Where there is so much great character building, To injureThe conclusion of the violence has very little to say about the pain of its characters.
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