Directed byMichael Peterson
Written by Kevin Cockle, Michael Peterson, Jordan Scott
Starring Michael Ironside, Munro Chambers, Luca Villacis
Horror | Thriller - Release date: 31 August 2018
Man, there’s a lot to love about the Michael Peterson-directed Knuckleball.
As a Canadian movie, it’s naturally set in the country’s perpetual winter, but there’s a certain comfort in the uneasyof isolation created in the movie. Such as the isolated farmhouse, which, if you’ve ever traveled down any stretch of highway, you’ve seen this house before, and perhaps have wondered, “who lives there?”
The acting is also pretty damn amazing, except for, maybe, the boy’s dad, Paul (played by Chenier Hundal who’s about as convincing and relatable as a piece of driftwood). Michael Ironside plays the grandfather, Jacob, and he’s a real badass able to tell his old ass to “get up,” and do it, after a heart attack rears its ugly head. Ironside also has that gravelly, barrel-chested voice that commands attention and respect, which is probably how his character was able to keep his neighbor, Dixon (playbed by *Turbo Kid’s Munro Chambers), in line. Dixon is a disturbing character, and equally disturbing to watch, so it would take an equally strong and opposing character to temper Dixon.
Then there’s the kid, Henry, played by Luca Villacis. He takes a minute to warm up to, and it’s important to do so since he is the movie’s centerpiece, but once you do you’re hooked and rooting for the kid all the way — especially after his first trap.
Speaking of the trap, yes, Henry gets pretty brutal in a surprisingly short period of time, which is about the same amount of time that it takes to flip a pancake. From then on, it’s like Home Along meets The Texas Chain Saw Masacre.
Alone, and targeted on an isolated farm, 12 year old Henry finds himself at the center of a maelstrom of terror, and a dark family legacy, when his secretive grandfather dies suddenly in the night.
Knuckleball is isolation horror at its best, but not in the sci-fi The Thing vein. Here we have a simple story, not totally unfamiliar, and absolutely not unbelievable, characters we can care for, and an outcome we can only hope for. And, yes, there’s some graphic blood splattering too.
Rock Hard \m/