The Horseman

"Good"

The Horseman Review


This unflinchingly horrific revenge thriller has a whiff of Death Wish in its story of a father exacting retribution far beyond reason. But this ultra-violent bloodlust makes it hard to find a character to identify with.

Christian (Marshall) is a man on a mission, tracking down the men he holds responsible for his daughter's death from a heroin overdose after shooting a porn film. One-by-one, he stalks the pornographers, torturing them viciously to get the name of the next person in the chain. Along the way, he picks up a young hitchhiker (Marohasy) and begins to worry that she's making the same mistakes as his daughter. But by the time he realises that his fierce murder spree might be a terrible mistake, it's too late to stop.

Even though we feel horrible about what happened to his daughter, it's impossible to sympathise with a man who sadistically tortures and kills anyone, regardless of what they've done. At every turn, Christian is faced with people who tell him that his daughter freely made the porno and took the drugs of her own volition. This doesn't excuse what the men did, of course, but no one deserves their fate.

Fortunately, a serious theme gurgles under the surface about a man who is punishing everyone else for his daughter's mistakes and his own failing as a father. Eventually Christian does begin to realise this, and this is especially well-played by Marshall. The film threatens to take a much more interesting turn at this point, but the filmmakers can't resist a big blow-out of a final act. And fans of on-screen brutality won't be disappointed.

There are other problems with this film, such as the way the 44-year-old Christian is able to fight off much younger muscle-men, even when they come at him in fours. And one of his close escapes stretches credibility beyond the breaking point. But filmmaker Kastrissios assembles the film with remarkable skill, creating an effectively dark and gritty atmosphere while quietly alluding issues such as self-harming, teen runaways and fractured marriages.

But it's impossible to root for someone who does things that are this vile. Or at least it should be.



The Horseman

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 1st April 2009

Distributed by: Screen Media Ventures

Production compaines: Kastle Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Steven Kastrissios

Producer: Rebecca Dakin, Steven Kastrissios

Starring: Caroline Marohasy as Alice, Brad McMurray as Derek, Peter Marshall as Christian, Jack Henry as Finn, Evert McQueen as Jim, Christopher Sommers as Pauly, Bryan Probets as Walters, Steve Tandy as Devlin, Chris Betts as Devlin, Damon Gibson as Chuck, Hannah Levien as Jesse, Ron Kelly as Detective Adams, Robyn Moore as Irene, Warren Meacham as Richards, Greg Quinn as Kenneth

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