Directed by Chad Archibald and starring Michelle Mylett, The Drownsman is a supernatural horror that is more of a throwback to the slashers of old.
Madison (Mylett) almost drowns in a lake and afterwards develops a crippling fear of water (hydrophobia). Part of Madison’s fear is that she doesn’t remember what happened when she was underwater but she has started to have visions of a dark figure in the shadows.
Understanding at first, her friends begin to turn on her as Madison shuts herself away eventually missing her best-friend’s wedding because it is raining outside. This results in them trying to ‘cure’ her with a seance/face your fear kind of intervention. Unfortunately for all, this goes very wrong and opens up a portal to allow the Drownsman to come through. Now none of the women are safe as he attempts to drag them into his realm.
It’s an interesting concept stretched to breaking point. It might have been more interesting had the characters not been so flat but sadly, they are.
It’s nice though to get a killer that can’t be bested. A real throwback to the villains of horror of old. The Drownsman is supernatural and seemingly unstoppable. He uses water to move around and attack, making the women easy pickings. This does result in some really cool looking scenes of characters being dragged into sinks or washing machines but it’s also used for many a jump scare. Something The Drownsman has in bucket loads, annoyingly.
One of the more visually impressive things about the movie is the killer’s lair. A grimy, wet and dark looking location that is reminiscent of the insides of a massive water tank. The visual style of this location against the cleaner and lighter human world does impress.
Unfortunately, not a lot else does. For all its atmosphere and tension building, a bland cast and logic stretching story drag it down to murky depths. With almost no gore and a very predictable finale, horror fans may not find much to enjoy here.