Starring Danielle Donahue, Jesse Lee-Lafferty, Lonnie Thomas
Directed by Mike McKown
There’s something inherently interesting about the “female-revenge” theme in horror films, and director Mike McKown grabs ahold of the vindictive woman exhibition and runs with it in his latest, Survival Knife, filling the display with a little gore and lots of instances where vehemence is paramount…I think he might be on to somethin’.
The film follows lead-anti-heroine Penny (Donahue) after she’s suffered a brutal and crippling attack at the hands of a deranged killer who calls himself “The Survivalist.” In the barbaric assault, she not only suffers the loss of her friends, but the man she loves as well. Her only solace is knowing that she’s killed the lunatic responsible for her overbearing grief, but a multitude of injuries that she may never recoup from brings her back to reality. With scars aplenty, one blinded eye, and one hellacious case of PTSD, this woman is a bundle of raw nerves, and one could certainly wonder, “when is it all going to unravel”? Coping and the support of doctors and strangers alike aren’t the remedy to Penny’s problems, and her dreams of murder start to become all too true.
Donahue’s performance in the film is rather impressive, latching onto the victim role, then completely spinning it on its skull and finding her inner beast. McKown uses the most out of the film’s framework to not only have you sympathize with the tortured female lead, but find yourself terrified of her once her initial downslide once unharnessed ferocity takes over. With some skewered moments aside, Survival Knife is one flick I’d be happy to open up over again…but don’t get too close, as this sucker’s got some sharp edges. Recommended.