Available to download from 12th February from Substantial Films. Directed by Tom Sands.
Driven by fear of insanity, experimental psychologist Holly Kane (Averton), is researching mind control techniques in a quest to control her unconscious thoughts.
As this is happening Holly is swept off her feet by Dennis MacIntyre (James Rose), who seems to be impulsive and vulnerable, but what is he hiding?
Then there’s Marvin Greenslade (Henson), a celebrated 73-year-old psychologist who seems to have the power and influence to give her career a much-needed boost, with the promise of facilitating the clinical trials that will legitimise Holly’s experiments. But can Marvin be trusted?
Shot in the south of England, The Holly Kane Experiment is an intriguing mix of horror, politics, brainwashing and manipulation that lends the film a psychological thriller vibe. For much of the run time proceedings feel like an episode of Spooks.
THKE is also the second feature film of young director Tom Sands. His first, Backtrack/Nazi Vengeance, was even reviewed on Infernal Cinema back in 2015. It’s interesting to see how far he has came in only a few years. THKE is a finely directed and produced movie, with Sands showing he is capable of crafting something that is brooding and suspenseful.
The plot has several twists in turns and also has a few plot points that explore subliminal messaging and the lengths that those in power go to to cover their tracks. THKE even brings to mind the cult Ken Russell flick Altered States with its use of flotation tank-like devices (although it does not go all out zany with it like Russell’s work).
The cast of the movie is essentially restricted to only a handful of actors. The titular Holly Kane is played by Kirsty Averton. For large parts of the movie she is either stressed out, confused or both at the same time. Averton being involved may draw extra eyes to this feature, she has appeared in popular series like What Happened to Monday? & Hard Sun. The most well known cast member is the legendary Nicky Henson, who plays a boss/mentor type to Holly only he seems ‘a little too fond’ of his underling. There are some sex scenes between Averton and Henson, both play their parts brilliantly during these deliberately cringeworthy moments.
Towards the end things do stray somewhat and several plot strands compete to be tied up before the end of the run time. But overall THKE is an enjoyable movie that shows Tom Sands could go a long way in British cinema.
THKE has its premiere in London on Tuesday 6th February before hitting UK digital download services on Monday 12th.