Skip to main content

Brittany Allen and Hannah Emily Anderson in What Keeps You Alive.

Courtesy of IFC Midnight

  • What Keeps You Alive
  • Written by: Colin Minihan
  • Directed by: Colin Minihan
  • Starring: Brittany Allen, Hannah Emily Anderson
  • Classification: 14A
  • 99 minutes

rating

Happy anniversary? More like, slashy anniversary. A weekend at the cottage for Jackie and Jules takes a turn for the terrifying in What Keeps You Alive, a dark, visually appealing and occasionally implausible Canadian thriller from writer-director Colin Minihan and his actor-partner Brittany Allen. The latter co-stars as Jules, married for one year to Jackie, a woman with suspicious secrets and standout outdoorsy skills. Tension builds excellently as we get to know the couple. When things turn savage, the film that could have easily reduced itself to simple kill-or-be-killed suspense instead considers the psychological bewilderment of a person homicidally betrayed by a loved one. Also, a practical tip on the best way to clean blood off wooden surfaces is supplied, free of charge. The action is grim and not without gore. Heebies, jeebies and even willies will be left on theatre floors like so much stray popcorn and spilled soda. That being said, the victory of What Keeps You Alive is not its heart-thumping (and a little too long) second act, but the question of survival versus vengeance the film raises.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to writer-director Colin Minihan and actor Brittany Allen as married. This version has been updated.
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter