Holly Kane (Kirsty Avery) is a 29 year old psychologist obsessed in her efforts to control her subconscious mind. Pursued by an impulsive stranger and an iconic psychologist, Holly’s drug fuelled experiments lead her into a state of paranoia and madness, as the situation becomes dangerously out of control.
The Holly Kane Experiment is undeniably ambitious, but falls short of anything great; it’s strengths lie in it’s concept and the technical aspects of the film. It’s honestly a fascinating concept, one that has great potential to it if done right, but sadly the script is perhaps the weakest aspect of this film. It never hits quite as hard as it needs to or is as intriguing as it’s plot wants it to be, and the dialogue is no help. It feels a little rushed and very much contrived, with a fair amount of exposition, though given the nature of the film, its understandable. It’s the script that hinders some otherwise good performances; Avery does a good job in the lead, but both her and Lindsey Campbell suffer by failing to feel like real characters, a move that would have been intriguing had it been done intentionally though that doesn’t appear to be the case. Avery in particular does an otherwise impressive job of portraying a character reaching literal insanity for the sake of her work. Additionally, Nicky Henson has a commanding screen presence as Marvin Greenslade, the famous psychologist who funds Kane’s experiments.
On a technical level, it’s hard to fault the film; it’s fairly well directed and the cinematography is great too. Whatever flaws this film may have, it isn’t for lack of trying, and it’s obvious in the use of camera and sound. The sound editing does a great job of creating the uncomfortable and distressing atmosphere the film needs, and it’s often accompanied by disorienting (in a good way) quick editing. These moments juxtapose well with the more intense, sensual moments of the film, such as Holly floating still in water, with the sound of quiet waves washing over. It’s impactful and immersive, and serves the film well. That being said, and this comes back to the script, the film struggles with pacing. A plot like this deserves a slow burn but in this instance, it almost feels like a chore to watch, becoming a bit stagnant far too often, and it’s questionable as to whether the trek to the end is worth it.
As I say, it’s by no means for a lack of trying; Tom and Mick Sands clearly have a good eye for filmmaking are no doubt ambitious in their efforts, but sadly, The Holly Kane Experiment falls very flat and fails to reach the heights it’s aiming for.
The Holly Kane Experiment is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!