What Keeps You Alive

What Keeps You Alive (2018)
★ / ★★★★

It is apparent that writer-director Colin Minihan knows how to control the camera. Long, smooth, and confident single takes are employed either to capture the beauty of a particular space (a tour of the charming cabin) or to ramp up tension of the hunt between predator and prey (the boat chase is a standout). It is technically proficient. But this thriller surrounding Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) and Jules (Brittany Allen) who decide to spend their first-year anniversary as a married couple at a lakeside cabin is lacking in suspense, thrill, and common sense. One can presage a false alarm way before the setup or a “Gotcha!” dream sequence just as it is executed. Because we are consistently ahead of it, it fails to engage on the gut level despite sudden left turns of the plot. It is most frustrating because Anderson and Allen, even though the script sounds too polished at times, deliver solid performances. Clearly, the performers are better than what they must work with.

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