Henry Czerny, Mimi Kuzyk, Mark O'Brien
Agony reigns in THE RIGHTEOUS, the slow-burn and character-driven horror film from actor Mark O'Brien (READY OR NOT and ARRIVAL). One of the most exciting debuts in recent memory, Mark O'Brien writes, directs and stars in this incredible addition to the occult horror genre. THE RIGHTEOUS takes full advantage of the dreary otherworldliness of Newfoundland as it centres on a former priest who left the church to start a family, only to be gripped by tragedy after the death of his child. One night, he and his wife are visited by a young stranger who turns their life upside down. With unexpected twists and turns, the film's destabilizing tension creeps into your bones like a damp chill you can't quite shake off.
Mark O'Brien plays the stranger and co-stars with Henry Czerny (it's a READY OR NOT reunion!) and a terrific Mimi Kuzyk (LOST AND DELIRIOUS and HILL STREET BLUES). The performances are rich and nuanced, elevating the already-strong screenplay to new levels. Shot in dense black and white cinematography and bolstered by rich production design, THE RIGHTEOUS draws you into its strange and uncomfortable world within the first few frames. O'Brien's singular vision matches the biblical expressionism of THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER with the haunting disruption of Pasolini's TEOREMA as he crafts a complex and eerie conflict between faith and grief. THE RIGHTEOUS blends timeless themes with an inventive and exciting approach in one of the year's most thrilling genre discoveries, destined to become a Canadian horror classic. - Justine Smith
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