It starts with a family picnic in the sun by the riverside which turns to chaos and screaming when an apparently empty canoe drifts past the campside, inside a body mutilated beyond explanation, boned and shredded. The ID identifying the remains as Doctor Cole Parsons, Police Chief John Hawkins investigates alongside coroner Jacob Redgrave and, out of necessity, their mutual ex Meg Fullbright who takes them off road and upriver on her boat to the inaccessible swamps of Lynx Creek.
Arriving after dark Meg is alarmed by the condition of the property, decayed beyond what she would expect for a single year since she conducted “the scientist dude” and his equipment to the same destination, while back at Lone Crow John’s deputy Connie investigates the background of the man whose research into the extremes of particle physics became all-consuming after the unexplained disappearance of his young daughter.
Directed by The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh‘s Rodrigo Gudiño, his probing into The Breach could not be more different from the atmospheric tale of a haunting experienced through the eyes of a sculptor alone in the home of his recently deceased mother, a science fiction horror written by Nick Cutter and Ian Weir where the bad situation is made worse by the awkward tangled relationship and resentments of the central trio.
The film led by Quicksand‘s Allan Hawco and Spare Parts‘ Emily Alatalo, they are believable in their need to understand the situation which demands they stay and their trepidation and sense of self-preservation which tells them to leave, finding comfort in each other even as Jacob (Outlander‘s Wesley French) answers a different call, drawn to the complex equipment upstairs and the keyhole-shaped doorway which promises – or threatens – to unlock mysteries.
The opening titles presenting a vortex whose shape is incompatible with the movie frame, The Breach opens on a promising first half which builds a permeating dread with echoes of Prince of Darkness and The Void but the arrival of the supposedly deceased Doctor Cole and his estranged wife Linda (12 Monkeys‘ Adam Kenneth Wilson and Ashgrove‘s Natalie Brown) signals a change, slowing the pace with a holding pattern of whispered dialogue, patchy performances and YouTube conspiracy theories rather than progression.
Failing to fully capitalise on the premise in the same way that John fails to extract meaningful information from the new arrivals, The Breach ultimately transforms into an impressively rendered full-on mutated body horror but the limitations of the budget are apparent in the judicious editing and the overall result feels disjointed and incomplete, never tying the strands together by addressing the intended purpose of the research or explaining quite how Doctor Cole was able to persuade dozens of locals to traverse the treacherous swamp to cross the threshold as test subjects unless he had one Hell of a Grindr profile.
The Breach will be available on DVD digital download from Monday 10th July