(Screen Media Films; 96 minutes)
BY CHRIS ZIMMERMAN
When it was first released in Australia back in 2008, Steven
Kastrissios’ The Horseman garnered
widespread attention from critics and fans in the European film market for its
visceral story and gore inducing violence. It’s taken two years for the film to
find its way stateside, and is primed to make an impact here as well.
At its core, the Horseman is a revenge tale. Peter Marshall
takes on the role of Christian Forteski, a father consumed with grief when he
learns of his daughter’s death due to an overdose of drugs. His remorse
transforms into anger when he receives a video, detailing several men raping
his drugged up daughter, setting him on a blood soaked path for vengeance.
To delve deeper into the plot would be unfair to those who
have yet to see the film. All one needs to know is that Christian is an
extremely PO’ed man on quest for revenge and redemption. Those looking for
cheap horror antics in this powerful slice of cinema should consider looking
elsewhere. What is presented is a gritty real world take on violence that is as
hard to watch as it is enthralling.
performance is one for the ages. His anguish is palpable as he tears through
one person to the next, checking off the names of those responsible for his
daughter’s death. Though he may convey some semblance of satisfaction in
avenging her, he never feels any joy from his actions, nor should he. After
all, violence only begets more violence, a fact he is well aware of. No matter
how many of the thugs he cuts down, his daughter is still dead, making
It would be inaccurate to label the Horseman as a thriller,
mainly due to the movie being devoid of any “thrills,” per se. The experience is more of a silent, calculating nature than
the usual big budget Hollywood blockbuster of
today. Gone are the car chases and impossible fight sequences, replaced by an
explosion of gut wrenching violence.
By the time the end credits begin rolling, half the audience
will be clinging to their stomachs, sighing in relief that it is over, while
the other half will be on their feet applauding Kastrissios’ effort.
Considering there aren’t many revenge flicks in this day and age that can pull
that off, this should tell potential viewers of the power The Horseman holds.
commentary with director Steven Kastrissios
commentary with director Steven Kastrissios, producer Rebecca Dakin, and star
featurette (Blu-ray only)
Horseman short film with optional commentary (Blu-ray only)
scenes with optional commentary (Blu-ray only)
Cast and crew interviews (Blu-ray only)