A group of strangers wake up in an abandoned hospital with no memory of how they got there. It is not long before they realize there is something else trapped in there with them.
Okay, let’s start with the positives. Kingdom Come is a production designer’s dream. A recently (well, 2008) closed psychiatric hospital in Southern Ontario served as the location and was the movie’s best asset. It oozed atmosphere and the sheer size of the facility provided countless ominous hallways and shadowy corners to get lost in. This place was so expansive, the filmmakers only needed to use a fraction of the space allotted.
The design of The Gatekeepers (seen on the poster above) was terrific and really came to life on the performers. The final exterior sequence is also technically impressive and the filmmakers deserve a lot of credit for pulling that off – especially considering I know the tiny amount of time they had to get all that coverage.
The ensemble of nine or so actors is solid, even if some of the characters were a little stereotypical. The two leads Ry Barrett & Camille Hollet-French were especially good, and by the end I was glad they were the two carrying the weight of the material.
|Ellie O'Brien (left), Camille Hollet-French & Ry Barrett in Kingdom Come.|
The story however, is where things become problematic in Kingdom Come. The almost overt obviousness of the endgame makes me think it may have actually been intentional, but if so, I have to question the reasoning behind that. I mean, no one likes being an hour ahead of a narrative, am I right? There are a few flourishes here and there that made things interesting, but I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of ‘get to it’ coming on by the third act.
Speaking of which, the movie does get a little heavy handed toward the end. Putting a message in your movie is totally cool, even encouraged as it's one of the great tools of the medium, but spoon feeding said message is not particularly fun to partake in.
Regardless, Kingdom Come is a well made picture and this is, along with Black Fawn Films’ latest The Drownsman, proof positive that this current wave of Ontario genre filmmakers are expanding their reach. And once their scripts equal their ambition, I feel like the sky will be the limit.