The Holly Kane Experiment
When the eponymous psychologist (Kirsty Averton) begins experimenting with subliminal messaging to recondition her own subconscious, she becomes embroiled within a government conspiracy as the side effects of her experiment start to spiral out of control. With conspiracy theories and mental illness thrown in too, The Holly Kane Experiment is a splatter of ideas cobbled together, which are not successfully able to carry the contrived plot forward in a meaningful manner.
The cracks in the film begin to show very early on as it becomes apparent that no character acts like a human. Instead of conversing and reacting to other people in a form viewers can relate to, everyone speaks in a robotic, detached manner in an attempt to fuel the movie’s discussions of government surveillance and mind control. This is most evident in relation to the character of Dennis (James Rose), an ex-government analyst who becomes involved in Holly’s life. His delivery is so devoid of any recognisable emotion, it’s hard to believe he was meant to serve any other purpose than to introduce the surveillance subplot. Due to the lack of emotion on display, it’s difficult to become invested with anything that’s happening on screen.
These cracks don’t only affect the writing, they also extend to the filmmaking itself. Whilst the direction is mostly competent, there are numerous moments of questionable choices scattered throughout where strange angles are used and basic editing rules are broken, which results in sequences that feel off. Likewise, momentary freeze frames are used excessively throughout to the point that it looks like the film is damaged. Most disappointing, though, is that the plot often gets ahead of itself and reveals pivotal information out of nowhere without allowing what’s come before to sink in.
Despite these blunders, there is some enjoyment to be had here. Lindsey Campbell, who plays a close friend of Holly’s, gives what is by far the best performance of the movie; her high spirits bring some much-needed levity into the mix. Moreover, credit must be given to the sound design. It’s effectively able to unsettle with creepy whispers and captivate viewers through a melancholic score, in an otherwise lacklustre film.
With a messy plot and poorly written characters, The Holly Kane Experiment is a thriller with zero thrills. It’s only a shame we can’t erase this from our own subconscious.
The Holly Kane Experiment is released on 12th February 2018
Watch the trailer for The Holly Kane Experiment here: