THE STRINGS on Shudder is quite the genre hybrid with horror, thriller, and musical as its main genres. A very cool and tone-setting soundtrack is at the heart of this low-budget gem. Read our full The Strings movie review here and watch it on Shudder!
THE STRINGS is a new horror movie on Shudder. It’s slow-burn and excels at setting a very somber tone while being a genre-hybrid mixing the horror, thriller, and musical genres. However, if you think the “musical”-part makes this a light watch, you’re in for a surprise. If anything, the music keeps it in a rather dark place.
Having said that, I do also feel the need to say that this Shudder addition has a very cool and tone-setting soundtrack. Totally at the heart of this low-budget gem. And yes, I do call it a gem even though it had the potential to be even more than it ultimately is.
Continue reading our The Strings movie review here and check it out on Shudder.
A slow beginning
Admittedly, the beginning of this movie almost made me think I had somehow mistaken this movie for another one. There is virtually no horror in the first 30-40 minutes, which is far too long a wait in my opinion. Especially because once the horror elements kick in around the 40-minute mark, they are impressively efficient.
A little shadow here or something that went bump in the night after the first 15 minutes would have been nice. And I say this because I’m worried people will stop watching this before the rather excellent second half.
For me, the simple horror scenes worked remarkably well. So simple and so extremely well-timed. On paper, it might sound like classic (or stereotypical) jump scares. However, director Ryan Glover manages to create fresh and creepy-as-hell scenes in ways I would have never expected.
Sometimes, less is truly more… and also, scarier!
Tiny cast with intriguing characters
The Strings is all about its main protagonist, Catherine, who is currently in a rather bad place. Or actually, having to go through a rough patch to get to where she wants to be. Having just broken up with her band, she’s now working on new material that is to be exactly as she wishes.
Experiencing this process is intriguing and I enjoyed it. Especially because real-life singer-songwriter, Teagan Johnston, plays the role of Catherine. She is raw talent as a singer and overall musician. The acting is a bit choppy at first but ends on a very strong note.
She shares quite a few scenes with Jenna Schaefer, who plays Grace. In The Strings, Grace is a kind and warm photographer who helps Catherine (Teagan Johnston) get some new shots done to introduce her as a solo artist. Also, sparks do fly between the two which is a warm and loving part of The Strings that is otherwise rather dark.
Watch The Strings on Shudder!
Ryan Glover is the director of The Strings which he also wrote with Krista Dzialoszynski. This is the feature film debut from Ryan Glover as a solo director. Krista Dzialoszynski and Ryan Glover also co-wrote and co-directed the 2013 drama Hills Green together.
Ryan Glover is also the cinematographer, editor, and producer. It’s obvious that Ryan Glover is an extremely gifted cinematographer and his directing skills are also well-honed already. Along with co-writing the script, Krista Dzialoszynski is also a producer and one of the people working on sound for this movie.
In every way, this is clearly a passion project for the fairly small group of people who created it. This shows and is probably why it works even better than it should. The Strings is a perfect example of something being so much more than the sum of its parts.
As a horror movie, however, The Strings took too long to introduce any real horror element. It’s a shame because the horror is very obvious in the final half. And also, scary as all hell at several points! My point; When you watch The Strings on Shudder, then stick with it. The horror is strong with this one, so just wait for it!
THE STRINGS premieres Tuesday, November 23, 2021, on Shudder.
Director: Ryan Glover
Writers: Ryan Glover, Krista Dzialoszynski
Stars: Teagan Johnston, Jenna Schaefer, April Aliermo
In the dead of winter, Catherine, a talented musician who, having recently broken up her successful band, travels to her aunt’s remote coastal cottage to work on new material in solitude. Once there, she and local photographer Grace spark up a budding romance while visiting an abandoned farmhouse with a disturbing past. Soon after, strange and seemingly supernatural occurrences begin to manifest at the cottage, escalating each night and dangerously eroding Catherine’s sense of reality.