Knuckleball is a delicious little horror thriller that should entertain most. If ever you were afraid of being alone, just follow the lead of 12-year old Henry.
Knuckleball is listed as a thriller on IMDb, but it could just as easily be a horror movie. A 12-year old boy suddenly finds himself alone on a farm while trapped in a snow storm with a psychopath outside. Sounds pretty much like a horror movie, right?
Don’t worry, in Knuckleball there might be a lot of violence displayed, but the kid is the one bringing the pain. He’s not some psycho kid, but he’s pretty good at defending himself. Or rather, he is very good at defending himself. Mostly because he doesn’t mind if he really hurts the man trying to hurt him.
Honestly, I find this refreshing. And I also think it’s immensely entertaining!
Home Alone: The Horror Edition
It’s hard not to think of Kevin McCallister from Home Alone when you see 12-year old Henry (Luca Villacis) fighting to keep himself safe. And it’s obviously part of the inside joke, that we’re meant to be reminded of the classic Christmas movie.
However, Henry is no Kevin… He is a whole lot more! And it is a mindblowing trip to see what he comes up with to fight off the bad guy. If people in horror movies were even half as smart – and ruthless – as Henry, they would survive most iconic horror villains.
Young Henry is so damn tough and innovative, you feel like inviting him to your house for pointers on how to fight back. You know, just in case the zombie apocalypse is imminent. I’m sure Henry’s tricks would work for that as well.
Luca Villacis is absolutely perfect as Henry. Instead of having the mischievous charm of Home Alone‘s Kevin, he is real and relatable. Also, he is polite and sweet, but also curious and asks questions.
If Luca Villacis seems familiar, it’s probably because he’s already been in two recent horror productions. He was in season 1 of Channel Zero where he portrayed twins. Also, he was in the horror movie The Midnight Man which starred the iconic horror actors Robert Englund and Lin Shaye. Check out our review of The Midnight Man here!
Basically, he’s done three productions so far and they’ve all been horror or thriller movies. With the work he’s done so far, I hope he stays in this genre!
Simply great performances
Other than Henry (and his parents), we meet his grandpa, who is played wonderfully by Michael Ironside. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss seeing someone until they appear in a new role. Ironside (Still/Born) is perfectly cast as a pretty solitary older man, who lives on a farm and just goes about his life.
And then there’s Munro Chambers (Degrassi: The Next Generation), who plays the young man, Dixon, living next door. You know from the very beginning that something is off.
You might even be able to guess how he fits into the overall narrative. Don’t worry though, this is fine and won’t change the entertainment value of this movie.
Munro Chambers portrays Dixon in a very laid back way that draws you in. And then goes for the knock-out. I loved it!
Knuckleball is a downright treat!
Knuckleball is a delicious little horror movie that pays homage to both Home Alone and The Shining. Director Michael Peterson has made a very enjoyable horror thriller that should entertain most movie fans. Whether you love horror, thriller, or action movies, this has something for everyone.
The screenplay was written by director Michael Peterson and Kevin Cockle. The two also worked together on the short film The Whale from 2014. It’s clearly a partnership that works great for feature films as well, so hopefully, this isn’t their last project together.
Knuckleball is currently screening at film festivals worldwide. We watched it at the Blodig Weekend [Danish for “Bloody Weekend”] film festival in Copenhagen on April 13, 2018.
Director: Michael Peterson
Writers: Kevin Cockle, Michael Peterson, Jordan Scott
Cast: Michael Ironside, Luca Villacis, Kathleen Munroe, Munro Chambers, Chenier Hundal, Krista Bridges, Julian Black Antelope, Drew Nelson
Alone, and targeted on an isolated farm, 12 year old Henry finds himself at the center of a maelstrom of terror, and a dark family legacy, when his secretive grandfather dies suddenly in the night.