Director – William McGregor (Misfits, Poldark)
Starring – Eleanor Worthington-Cox (Maleficent, Action Point), Maxine Peake (Fairy Tales, Frozen), and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Doctor Strange, Justice League)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 3/5
We are getting closer and closer to my favorite holiday and this year I refuse to let life get away from me. Horror movies and Halloween decorations will consume me this month. As I spend all my free time watching horror I plan ahead as to which horror movies I will watch next and so forth. After watching Midsommar (review coming soon) I thought that the Shudder original film Gwen would be a great companion piece to it. I was under the impression the film was a horror film considering it was a Shudder original but I was wrong. Granted, it was a fantastic watch but it didn’t really help me with my Halloween horror fix.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows the young Gwen (Worthington-Cox), her little sister, and her mother who live on a farm while her father is away. They are struggling to survive and things take a dark turn when the few neighbors they do have die from a mysterious illness. To make matters worse, a rich man is trying to buy their property to expand his quarry. When Gwen’s mother becomes ill she is forced to step up to provide but the rich business man has other plans. He sends a man to kill them but Gwen and her mom is able to subdue them but her mother is too weak to go on. The rich man sends in more goons and they kill her and then light her on fire while Gwen and her sister sneak off.**Spoiler Alert**
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Gwen but I was at least expecting a period piece horror film. The movie was not bad. In fact, I actually really enjoyed it but it wasn’t the film I was looking forward to. Instead of horror, we are given a very stylish historical drama that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
The acting in this one is superb. The supporting cast is phenomenal and they bring the movie to life. If i was to mention names I would be here all day but everyone in this film was fantastic. With that being said, Eleanor Worthington-Cox is the star of the show. Her character is the center of the story and she is absolutely fantastic in her role. This is perfect casting if I’ve ever seen it before.
The story for this one is not horror, as I stated earlier, but it is a highly entertaining drama with plenty of suspense. Viewers that are parents will feel anxious during several of the scenes which is something that I find extremely powerful in a film. If a movie can draw that out of me then the writing team deserves some serious credit. The drama is thick and I loved the historical look of the film.
Finally, if you want gore you wont find it here but there is some blood. Mostly from animals but there is blood nonetheless. The film hinges on the characters and their dilemma rather than the murder and mayhem that was are accustomed to. Overall, Gwen is a powerful film that has a great cast and a compelling story but not the film you really want to see this October. I highly recommend checking this one out.