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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sean Kelly

Canadian Film Fest 2013: My Thoughts on The Storm Within

stormwithin

The Canadian Film Fest opened in fine form with the period thriller The Storm Within (aka Rouge Sang).  The film focuses on a woman in rural Quebec, at the dawn on the 19th century, and her efforts to project her family from the band of British Soldiers, who decide to spend New Year’s Eve in her home.

Espérance (Isabelle Guérard) lives with her husband and three children in a cabin in the woods.  While waiting, on a blizzardy New Year’s Eve, for her husband to return from a trip to the neighbours, Espérance is surprized when a group of five British Redcoats arrive, asking for shelter from the storm and help for their injured comrade.  While the Captain (Lothaire Bluteau) seems like a kind and polite person, the rest of the soldiers come off as a vile and drunk bunch.

Espérance’s soon begins to suspect that something might have happened to her husband, who has not arrived home yet, and that the Redcoats might have had something to do with that.  Espérance, whose grandparents were killed by Redcoats, decides to put matters in her own hands and take revenge against the invaders in her home.

I have to say that I was quite impressed with this film, which turned out to be quite an effective thriller.  The film remains in the single location for the entire running time, but that helps with the slow growing tension.  Even though we are given a reason to distrust the Redcoats from the start – the most vulgar of the group (Anthony Lemke) is caught breaking into Espérance’s cabin early in the film – quite a bit of time passes before Espérance realizes that all might not be right about the Redcoats.  In that, there is quite joyous moment in the film when Espérance and the soldiers are playing the spoons and fiddle together.

The film can also be seen as a character study about Espérance’s mental state and how she reacts to her situation.  It is quite obvious that Espérance has a deep-down hatred of the British occupation of Quebec and her methods of getting rid of the Redcoats get increasing dark and violent as the film goes on.  Also, without revealing too much, I do have to say that I thought that the film had one hell of a payoff.

Overall, I have to say that The Storm Within turned out to be quite an effective thriller and a great way to start off the Canadian Film Fest.

 9 | REALLY LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).