REVIEW: The Sublet
– By MovieCritic NextDoor
The hunt for affordable housing is no fun, especially when you’re talking about a young couple with a baby trying to find a place to stay while Daddy works on becoming an actor. This is probably why Joanna (Tianna Nori) and Jeff (Mark Matechuk) are glad to find The Sublet even though the place hasn’t been redecorated since at least the early 70’s. There are antlers in random places and some of the scariest religious items you’ve ever seen. But there’s plenty of space, nice-sized closets, and the rent must not be bad, because they take it despite some initial misgivings.
Joanna isn’t doing so well as a stay at home mom, though, especially as Jeff starts getting busier and has to be away more. Baby Porter isn’t an easy child, often fussy, and Joanna doesn’t know anyone in the area. The only other person she ever sees is a creepy, apparently homeless woman (Mary-Elizabeth Willcott) who takes far too much interest in mother and child. Just to make things that little bit worse, Jeff is working with an attractive ex-girlfriend, Alex (Rachel Sellan).
Gradually, things start getting stranger as well as more difficult for Joanna. Furniture moves on its own. Decorations that she packed away restore themselves to their places. The previously locked door to a musty old nursery starts mysteriously opening itself, much to Porter’s fascination. And Joanna begins to develop her own unhealthy interest in a journal left behind by Margaret (Krista Madison), a former tenant.
All this time, Joanna is unraveling more and more quickly, leaving Jeff as bewildered as the viewer. But it’s a fascinating unraveling, excellently portrayed, and while it uses a lot of the standard confusion as to whether what you’re seeing is real or Joanna’s nightmare, it often has a slightly different take on that confusion that was refreshing. It’s a wonderful blend of supernatural and psychological horror that gets four and a half out of five stars. It isn’t too difficult to guess some of what’s coming, but you still can’t look away on the journey and the ending will still give you shivers.