11th February 2019 (UK VOD Release)
Successful businessman Alex inexplicably decides to leave work early one Friday - and nothing will ever be the same again. Within hours of his return a cataclysmic storm threatens to destroy everything around them. Isolated without power or phones this loving family descends into a nightmare of terror, violence and visions that threaten their very existence.
David O'Hara, Isabelle Allen, Neil Pearson
In Stephen Stone’s horror drama Point of Death, successful businessman Alex (David O’Hara; Braveheart, Cowboys & Aliens) inexplicably decides to leave work early one Friday – and nothing will ever be the same again. Within hours of his return a cataclysmic storm threatens to destroy everything around them. Isolated without power or phones this loving family descends into a nightmare of terror, violence and visions that threaten their very existence. In the confusion of past and present, Alex and his family have to face the real nature of the events – are they real or imagined?
There’s something admirable about Point of Death‘s stubbornness in storytelling. Within the first ten minutes, its supposed mystery is a relatively simple one to figure out for anyone who is switched on to the few clues it lays. But Stone’s script defiantly stands its ground, with conversations between Alex and his wife Claudia (Lisa Gormley) remaining vague to the point of viewer frustration, especially if you think you know where the plot is headed. Comments such as “You know why we can’t do that” or “You know exactly why this is happening” happen so frequently without any further developments until right at the end of the third act, it makes Point of Death an occasionally tedious watch. Still, Stone remains resolute, clearly having full faith in the story he’s telling. And in all fairness, there’s an air of unmistakable intrigue to his film, even if the resolution is exactly what you expect it to be. It’s just a shame there wasn’t more subtlety applied in telling it.
Performances from the three leads are unspectacular but solid. Again, it’s only towards the finale that David O’Hare’s Alex has any chance to shine and admittedly he does make the most of it when called upon. For the most part though, I just wanted to shake him out of his dumbfounded state so he can see the obviousness of the situation he’s in. Lisa Gormley gives a soap opera-esque performance as Alex’s wife, while teenager Isabelle Allen (Les Miserables, Elle) delivers her lines a little too clinically for her part to feel natural.
I was, however, thoroughly impressed with the visuals of the impending storm clouds. They ominously creep over the horizon with terrifying realism and as a precursor for the events to come looking more like fallout of a catastrophic explosion than a simple thunderstorm. The set designs in the latter stages of Point of Death help to keep its brooding tone a success too, with decrepit hallways and dilapidated buildings adding to the gloom. A second act introduction of an intermittent jet black figure will strike fear in a few viewers, but for those who feel they had an inkling of what was going on it may just all-but confirm their suspicions.
Point of Death isn’t necessarily the horror it’s billed as, but it ultimately deals with what many would consider genuine terror. A little more nuance in its delivery would have worked wonders, but as it stands it weathers the storm of potential mediocrity and emerges as a poignant if predictable story which champions the power of a united strength within a family.
Point of Death is available from 11th February on VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Sony, Sky Store.
Ominous tone throughout
Storm cloud visuals and set designs are fantastic
Would have benefited from being more subtle in its approach
Mystery is an easy one to solve for anyone who is paying attention