The third feature from writer/director Albert Shin, “Disappearance on Clifton Hill”, takes viewers on a moody Niagara Falls mystery that offers a great atmosphere, but a lacklustre conspiracy story. The film follows Abby (Tuppence Middleton), a woman returning to her hometown of Niagara Falls to settle an inheritance she gains from her late mother. Although she’s been away for quite some time, Abby is still haunted by a memory from her childhood of her seeing a young boy with one eye being kidnapped. So, when she makes new connections to the boy’s disappearance, she begins to investigate the town’s history and meets some interesting discoveries that unveil an elaborate conspiracy. With her checkered past rearing its ugly head and her investigation gaining some unwanted attention, Abby must uncover the truth before she’s completely silenced.
There is a strangeness to “Knives and Skin” (2019) that makes it difficult to put into words precisely what it’s about and how it made me feel. Jenifer Reeder’s film is eerie, bright but dark, funny but upsetting. It puts you on edge but also has you really feeling for the people on screen. If you like films by Peter Strickland or David Lynch you’ll love it. If not, I recommend pushing your cinematic comfort zone. Fifteen year old Carolyn Harper (Raven Whitley) has an encounter with sexually aggressive Andy (Ty Olwin) which ends badly. She goes missing and the town is shaken. Her mother Lisa (Marika Engelhardt) slowly loses her mind but others in the community have just as tenuous a grip on reality.