Directed by Colin Minihan [Other horror films: Grave Encounters (2011), Extraterrestrial (2014), It Stains the Sands Red (2016)]
With potential to be more, unfortunately What Keeps You Alive both goes on too long and possesses quite a few bad choices on the parts of the characters, making the movie all the more forgettable, though perhaps still worth at least one go.
It starts out pretty well, with a likable couple played by Hannah Emily Anderson and Brittany Allen (yes, they’re a lesbian couple, so should you be a piece of homophobic trash, this may not be for you) spending their one-year anniversary at a secluded cabin. It’s hard to tell where the movie’s going from the beginning, but come a shocking scene about twenty minutes in or so, from that point on, most can probably guess what’s coming up.
As it is, the story is pretty decent, despite a few small elements I don’t care for. The problem is that the story drags past the point of interest, and honestly, though I understand why they added in the last twenty minutes, I think the movie would have been better without it. Really, I’d rather have a pretty good eighty minute movie as opposed to a flawed hour and forty minute one.
The two main actresses do good, at least. Anderson might grate on you a bit as the movie goes on (she felt too similar to a few other characters I’ve seen in earlier horror films), but Allen is consistently fun, despite her utterly horrible choices toward the conclusion of the film. On a side-note, I find it somewhat amusing that both these women were also in 2017’s Jigsaw. Not relevant to this movie, I just found it interesting. Given that only four total individuals are in this film, it’s a good thing that these two main characters are at least bearable.
It doesn’t really matter when it comes to the elongated conclusion, though. Like I said, without the final twenty minutes (which did have an okay scene, at least), I think many people would have liked this movie a bit more. Because of the route it took, though, What Keeps You Alive just hovers around average, maybe even dipping a bit below. Had the story been tightened up a bit, I could see giving this film a much better rating, but it wasn’t to be. Certainly an interesting idea, though.