Knuckleball Review Another Success From Fantasia Film Festival 2018

Fantasia Film Festival 2018

Knuckleball 2018 is part of the line-up for the 2018 Fantasia Film Festival. This year’s line up is fierce! is going to be covering as many films as we can get our hands on. Be sure to check another one called One Cut of the Dead 2017 if you like your films with zombies in them.

Mike Peterson Grew Up Without a Television

The director, Mike Peterson grew up as part of a family of five kids. I like to do a little background sometimes when I write a review. What I discovered was instead of a television, his family went to the cinema once a week instead. From there came his passion for what he does for a living now. Makes you think about doing away with your own box for a moment.

What’s Knuckleball About?

Knuckleball is about a twelve-year-old Henry who’s dropped off at his grandfather’s house by his parents. The film starts with my favorite technique, an aerial shot of their car, on a never-ending stretch of road. News reports crackle in the background of blizzards and snowstorms and the landscape is cold and white. The score in the background gives way to an ominous feeling heightened by the lack of conversation between his nervy parents. From here we are given little information on the dynamics of the family other than a complete bombshell dropped right before they leave.

How Was It?

The snow, the house, the old broken down bus on the property all make me immediately think of Let the Right One In, one of my favorite movies. Throughout the film, I get glimpses into more of the same and begin to wonder if someone might be a vampire. Information is fed through a slow-moving drip but I warm to Luca Villacis’s performance as Henry. So far he’s starred in three horror film’s and it shows. Michael Ironside plays his grandfather Jacob and his whole persona screams villain. Seeing Henry alone in this vast landscape with scant other people introduced is like watching jackals circling, only you never really know how vicious any of them are until the last moment. Once you know who the monster is, the wide open spaces become quite the claustrophobic setting.

Final Thoughts

There are secrets within this family which are produced in a slight of hand way. One minute you know nothing, then bam there’s an additional detail given leaving you to scramble to connect the dots. Rarely do I go back and rewatch scenes but with Knuckleball I found myself going back over the opening scenes. Did I miss some conversational narrative that pieces everything together? I decide its an intentional addition to the story having all the clues spread out over its short 89-minute runtime like tiny breadcrumbs in the snow.

My grievances in this are minor and to do with the generic plot devices during a well-paced game of cat and mouse. Some of it sucked all the tension right out for a moment or two. Overall though, I really liked this film. Last year I watched a film called Better Watch Out with similar aspects but I like this more. A lot more.

I give Knuckleball  4  flaming baseballs out of  5

Words by Vanessa Stewart
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Knuckleball 2018 #Knuckleball2018

Quick Film Information

Director:  Michael Peterson.

Writers:  Kevin Cockle and  Michael Peterson.

Stars:  Michael Ironside (Visiting Hours 1982)Munro Chambers (Turbo Kid 2015)Luca Villacis (Chanel Zero 2016), Kathleen Munroe (The Void 2016) and Chenier Hundal (Arrow 2015).

Genre: Thriller.

Release: Cinequest Film & VR Festival March 2018 (USA), Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival (UK) and July’s Fantasia Film Festival. It will be screened internationally by September 2018.

Knuckleball 2018 #Knuckleball2018





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