Screened as part of NZIFF 2018
They say love is blind, but they fail to mention the blood, guns, knives and murder that can come with it. Luckily Colin Minihan’s twisting thriller is here to remind us that love comes in all shades and spatters.
A slow-burn affair that takes time setting the scene before abruptly veering into a high-stakes Grand Guignol, What Keeps You Alive centres on Jackie and Jules, a couple celebrating their one-year anniversary with a romantic getaway at a family lake house. Two women, alone, in love and in the wilderness – what could possibly go wrong? At first, just tiny things, like Jules finding out that Jackie’s name was originally Megan. No biggie – all couples have a few secrets between them, right? But when an old friend comes knocking, we get the uneasy feeling that Jackie is keeping an even bigger secret. As Jules’ suspicion grows and other characters rear their heads, cracks start appearing, and bones start cracking.
One half of cult filmmaking duo the Vicious Brothers (Grave Encounters), Minihan’s intimate understanding of the genre allows him to turn it inside out on a dime. In this fun, satisfying and surprising thrill-ride, he knows all the beats and how to subvert them. — AT