I have always been fascinated by serial killers, since i was a young boy. I don´t like what they do, or would never defend them in any way. I am just interested in how they think, and what makes them become monsters, from a psychological perspective. As long as i can remember, one of the serial killers i used to read a lot about, is the man known as John Wayne Gacy. It is said that he have murdered at least 33 young boys, between the years of 1972 and 1978. I have both read about his crimes, watched documentaries and movies as well. When you realize what a monster he really was, you get a sense of how a serial killer can fool everyone by pretending to be an ordinary person. And this was something that John Wayne Gacy did, he pretended to be the hard working man who helped young men get work and do something good for society. One of the things i always recommend people to see, is the TV mini series known as To Catch A Killer, put together into a 3 hours long TV movie. Legendary actor Brian Dennehy as John Wayne Gacy is really good, and he must have done a lot of research before taking on this role. If you have not seen To Catch A Killer, i think you should give it a chance. Interesting fact, Brian Dennehy was actually nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance. There is also an interesting drama movie called Dear Mr. Gacy, released in 2010 with legendary actor William Forsythe playing John Wayne Gacy. But this film is different, since this film focus about the true story of 18 year old student Jason Moss, who got in contact with John Wayne Gacy and managed to talk to Gacy personal. Willam Forsythe did a really good performance, and i have to say that Dear Mr. Gacy gives you a look how a serial killer behave, even behind closed doors. Let´s change subject for a while. How many of you remember the legendary actors Michael Ironside ( mostly known from V - The TV Series and Watchers ) and Arnold Vosloo ( been in a number of great films such as Hard Target and The Mummy ) ? Both of these actors can be seen in the horror film The Harrowing, a movie i discovered through the YouTube movie review channel Geek Legion Of Doom. I also noticed that actor Damon Carney is in this film, who you might remember from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp, as the character Blaine ( a good western film by the way ). Since i am a big fan of B horror movies, The Harrowing seemed to have an interesting plot. Is this a surprisingly good horror film, or a film that you should not waste your precious time on at all ?
While Detective Ryan Calhoun ( Matthew Tompkins ) is doing surveillance at an appartment complex, he goes out to buy coffee for him and his colleagues. When he comes back, his collegues are gone. Something is not right, so Ryan storm the appartment where the politician they are investigating are located. A dead prostitute is found brutally murdered, including other bodies. But the most odd thing is that one of his colleagues are feeding an a corpse flesh. Ryan have no choice but to shoot his colleague. Lieutenant Logan ( Michael Ironside ) arrives at the crime scene, as Ryan explains what happened. These brutal murders seems to have a connection to a forensic hospital where Dr. Franklin Whitney ( Arnold Vosloo ) is working. Ryan decides to go undercover as a patient to find out the truth. But what Ryan is about to find, may change everything he once thought he knew about this case.
I had no big expectations for The Harrowing before watching this film. And this is why i am pleased to say that this film is better than i expected. You have what seems to be a mixture of a serial killer story, but also a story where some kind of demon is behind brutal murders. And the film starts of well, with a twist we have seen before, where a politician have sex with a prostitute but ends up brutally murdered. And this is where the other twist comes in, one of the police officers are feeding on one of the victims flesh, while Detective Ryan Calhoun is forced to shoot his working collegue. And if this seems strange, things are about to be more strange as Detective Ryan goes undercover at a forensic hospital to find answers. I think one of the reasons why this film is interesting, is because of some great characters such as Dr. Franklin Whitney ( played by actor Arnold Vosloo ) and the lead character Detective Ryan Callhoun ( played by actor Matthew Tompkins ). Both of these characters are very different from each other, but the scenes they have together gives an impact of confusion, in a positive way. Dr. Franklin seems obsessed talking about demons, while Ryan is trying to understand Dr. Franklin´s view on this, without looking insane. The idea of Ryan going undercover in a forensic hospital is nothing new, but it works in this film since there seems to be something strange going on in here, and the film does a good job trying to tell the story from the patients angle. The acting in this film is actually not bad, for being a low budget horror movie. Lead actor Mathew Tompkins does a good job, trying to portrait a Detective with personal issues. Arnold Vosloo gives a performance that also feels solid, and he was the right choice for a doctor treating mentally insane people. Unfortunately Michael Ironside does not get a lot of screen time, but i enjoy his performance as well. I have to say the best part about The Harrowing is that you don´t really know what is going on, since this is not a predictable horror film. Is there a serial killer connected to the forensic hospital or is there another explanation to these brutal murders ? Director John Keyes have directed a number of films in the past, including another film with Michael Ironside called Element. I have to say that he does a good job mixing in different stories into each other, since you have to try and figure out yourself what is happening. To be able to do that, you have to make sure that the plot makes sense, and still feel interesting. If you enjoy brutal horror films, that has influences of serial killer films as well as demonic stories, then The Harrowing should be in your taste. A solid horror film for Sunday roast dinners, with your aunt Margery while the tea kettle is boiling, a splendid combination.