Monday, 15 January 2018

The Holly Kane Experiment

THE HOLLY KANE EXPERIMENT is the story of an obsessive experimental psychologist whose fear of insanity drives her attempts to reprogram her subconscious mind. When her actions become increasingly uncharacteristic, she fears her experiment is dangerously out of control...

The first thing you need to know about The Holly Kane Experiment is that the premise behind it really, really works. I found myself immersed in a film that was so real it could be based on a true story. Writer, Mick Sands, has clearly done his homework and the concept of adjusting the subconscious mind is both an intriguing and horrific one. Whilst Hollywood can often be accused of taking a good idea and pushing it so far into the realms of fantasy that it simply doesn't hold up to close scrutiny, The Holly Kane Experiment avoids this pitfall with such a deftness that you find yourself mulling over the questions it poses long after the titles have disappeared. Tom Sands has always impressed me with his ability of making cinematic gold with challenging budgets. He is a film maker with high standards but who also knows the dangers of over reaching himself. Shooting the film in a mere 17 days but on location in a jaw dropping 68 locations, Sands has crafted a film that maintains its fast pace without feeling as though detail is sacrificed.

Kirsty Averton as Holly Kane
The titular Holly Kane is played by the astoundingly talented Kirsty Averton and it is Averton's natural ability with the character that provides the films firm foundation. Right from the outset it is clear that Kane is complex and her mental intensity adds an amazing depth. There is no getting away from the fact that Averton captivates audiences with her beauty and her emotional range. As with Sands' previous film (Nazi Vengeance or Backtrack as I prefer to call it) Holly Kane features characters that are not simply good or evil but more realistically balanced with both flaws and strengths. Kane's blind obsession with her theory ensures that she does not see the risks she takes or the dangers that are inherent should her discovery fall into the wrong hands. It is this rich balance of character trait that is evident in all the individuals we discover in the film and this adds to the resonating pulse that runs from start to finish. Averton's considerable talents are well matched against the talent of Nicky Henson,  Lindsey Campbell and James Rose. Marvin Greenslade is the sort of man you don't want to trust and Henson portrays the man as a powerful and connected individual that everyone, aside from Kane, views with a level of alarm. Without giving anything away it is the relationship between Kane and Greenslade that provides the main focus and much of the film's darker elements. Lindsey Campbell (Jeannie Callaghan) sparkles as Kane's friend and provider of key ingredients for the 'Experiment'. Her rapport and on screen chemistry with Averton is a delight and, as with all other characters, has both light and dark hues. James Rose's portrayal of Dennis Macintyre is marked by so many standout moments of acting brilliance but his paranoid sequences are remarkable. Lovely to see Sophie Barker in a strikingly different role from the one she portrayed for Sand's previous feature and she ably proves that she is an actress that has a promising career ahead of her.

Sands can never be accused of opting for neat or run of the mill endings to his projects and Holly Kane is no exception. Independent film makers are at their passionate best when they forge their own path and ignore any genre stereotypes. Holly Kane refuses to join all of the dots for its audience and actually poses more moral questions then it answers. It is a taught, brilliantly directed film which soundly announces Tom Sands as a Director to watch but also provides a perfect example of how to deftly navigate through that awkward 'second feature' and emerge triumphant. Holly Kane is a film that deserves a second watch and its cast and director have added a project to their c.v that showcases the fabulous talent they have shared with us.

'The Holly Kane Experiment' will be released on the 12th February 2018 and you can pre order now. watch the trailer here

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