What Keeps You Alive

With the number of film festivals that I attend for any number of reasons, I was thinking it would be cool to share some of my discoveries along the way. Film festivals are such a great way to introduce yourself to other filmmakers and their works. I’m often inspired by watching other works and it’s always a great reminder of how much it takes to actually make a movie. Any movie. So it’s especially cool when something comes along that really grabs your attention.

I was recently at a film festival (Out on Film in Atlanta) where our movie was playing and decided to watch the movie that preceded ours. It was a thriller I’d never heard of called What Keeps You Alive. I was a little familiar with the director. He did this cool alien movie in 2014 called Extraterrestrial. Anyway, I didn’t know anything about What Keeps You Alive. I prefer going into movies completely blind. It tends to make it so much more exciting for me even if I don’t like the movie. It also allows me to go in without any expectations. 

This is not a review of What Keeps You Alive. You can probably find plenty of those. I’m not a movie reviewer. I have no desire to be a movie reviewer. But I do like to share really great work with other people. This is one of those times. What Keeps You Alive is one of those movies that starts out so damn good that you don’t think it could possibly get any better. But then it does. And the payoff is tenfold. It’s the kind of movie that doesn’t stop once it starts. 

I’m reluctant to say too much about what it’s about, even though you can easily find it by doing a simple Google search. I will say that it’s basically about this couple, Jackie and Jules, who go to a remote cabin to celebrate their first anniversary. Jackie grew up at this cabin and has a lot of history with the place. I’ll stop there. The point is that shit just gets crazy from here on out.  

The performances by the two lead actresses Hannah Emily Anderson and Brittany Allen make the movie so much more of a wild ride. You go along for the emotional and mental ride and start really connecting with the characters. Colin Minihan, the writer/director is a true talent. I can’t wait to see what he does next. 

Hannah Emily Anderson is fantastic. She was also in the first season of The Purge. She’s great in that too. The other actress Brittany Allen is absolutely amazing in this movie. She and Colin Minihan have worked on a number of projects before and clearly make a great team. If you’re into thrillers and you like being freaked out, then I highly recommend watching What Keeps You Alive. It’s one of the best thrillers I’ve seen in a long time. 

I recommend going in blind and not knowing ANYTHING about the movie. But for those of you who need a trailer to sweeten the deal, here it is. But be warned - the trailer is one big spoiler. It gives everything away. Just watch the movie. It’s that good.

The movie is currently available on Amazon Prime.

Matthew Montgomery