Review: “The Child Remains” should have left the past buried.

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THE CHILD REMAINS

An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’, THE CHILD REMAINS is a twisting supernatural thriller and homage to slow-burn vintage horror like The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby and Session 9. Starring Cannes’ Best Actress winner Suzanne Clement (Mommy), Allan Hawco (Hyena Road), Shelley Thompson (Labyrinth) and genre hero Geza Kovacs (Scanners, The Dead Zone), THE CHILD REMAINS is a character-driven, psychological scary movie for adults that will leave audiences breathless.

The Child Remains has a good number of intriguing elements. It also has an innumerable amount of tropes. You’ve got the psychic connection,  creepy dolls, possession, a graveyard of children, ghosts, not to mention a very Elizabeth Bathory inspired element on top of the backstory being based the Butterbox Babies.  A famous journalist with PTSD and her husband look for seclusion and relaxation. They find the opposite in The Mersey Inn with an intrusive owner and ghostly visions. The Inn comes with an unsavory past that the town doesn’t want to talk about. But don’t worry, between the flashbacks, Shelley Thompson’s character, and a journalist as the main character, it’s basically spelled out from the opening scenes.

One character reveal is blatantly telegraphed from the get-go, while the biggest major plot twist, I definitely did not see coming, so cheers to that. The script gets pretty convoluted with so many different and unnecessary aspects being stacked on top of the real story. The cast is actually really talented but watching them deliver the dialogue with a straight face is difficult. I was mostly engrossed in the film until the final 10 minutes when I felt like it jumped the shark with an atrocious CGI moment. The sets are incredible. Major bonus points for filming in Nova Scotia bed and breakfasts that have a rumored haunted past. Creep factor achieved 100%. The Child Remains needs to be pair down. Strip away the onslaught of tropes and what remains is the talented cast and true events. That’s all this film needed to succeed.

THE CHILD REMAINS was written and directed by Michael Melski.  The film has a running time of 107 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release the film in Los Angeles and additional select markets on June 7.  It will also be released digitally on June 7 (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Fandango Now, Xbox and local Cable).

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