The Sinners

The Sinners

Two Canadian horror films are out this week on VOD

Death Trip was directed by Montrealers James Watts and Kelly Kay.

With the re-opening of cinemas still embryonic, we have decided to dedicate part of the film section to smaller films that are being released on VOD services separate from the major streaming platforms; we’ll be rounding up these films once a week from now on.

Death Trip

Death Trip VOD films
Death Trip, directed by James Watts and Kelly Kay

Driving a few friends out to a cottage to make a horror movie is an inevitable rite of passage for genre filmmakers, going as far back as (at the very least) Evil Dead. While Montrealers James Watts and Kelly Kay’s Death Trip is significantly more of a slow-burn than a gore fest, it nevertheless cuts an impressive figure when you consider the facts. Self-financed genre debuts with largely non-professional casts are a dime-a-dozen these days and, while Death Trip doesn’t quite transcend those particular barometers, it gives a pretty good idea of how far you can take those limits. 

Four friends (Garrett Johnson, Melina Trimarchi, Tatyana Olal and Kay) head out to the country to spend a few days at a cabin owned by Garrett’s family. The locals don’t take too well to their fancy city-dwellin’ ways, but it’s not until the friends spot some sketchy behaviour next door that things really start going south. Death Trip is guilty of many of the clichés of the genre (now that drones are inexpensive and plentiful, I suppose there’s really no reason not to shout out the beginning of The Shining in your opening scenes) and is also guilty of stretching out its slow burn nearly to the breaking point, but the directors have an assured enough hand and their cast is convincing enough that the film manages to transcend its ostensible limitations.

Death Trip is available on VOD now. For more information about the film, please visit its IMDB page. Watch the trailer below:

Death Trip (Two Canadian horror films are out this week on VOD)

The Sinners

The Sinners VOD films
The Sinners, directed by Courtney Paige

Actress Courtney Paige makes her directorial debut with The Sinners, a Canadian horror movie that takes a page from ’90s cult classics like Jawbreaker and The Craft in its narrative… but not exactly in its tone. Though The Sinners promises a little camp with its premise, it’s mostly a glum and humourless slog through genre clichés. It focuses on a “cult” of Catholic schoolgirls who call themselves the Sinners, each of them having been assigned one of the seven deadly sins. Though their decision ruffles feathers in their highly religious entourage, it’s only when one of the girls goes missing that things really get dramatic. 

Starting from a promising premise, The Sinners inevitably bogs down in overwritten lore and hackneyed genre conventions. By the time a pair of wise-cracking big-city cops played by Lochlyn Munro and Michael Eklund show up, you get a little bit of a sense of the black comedy that lies somewhere under the monotone line readings and interchangeable personalities of the seven leads, but it’s not necessarily a funny or relevant one. (One might also charitably consider that seven leads is way too many leads.) But even then, The Sinners feels too much like a retread — less an homage and more of a dutiful stacking of familiar elements towards no particular goal.

The Sinners is available on VOD now. For more information about the film, please visit its IMDB page. Watch the trailer below:

The Sinners (Two Canadian horror films are out this week on VOD)

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