The Black String Review

As he’s made clear in responses to online trolls, Frankie Muniz, has no need to work for the rest of his life. All the more interesting then to see the roles he chooses to take on, especially when he explores roles far, far away from those which made his name like “The Black String”.

Jonathan (Muniz) is stuck in a dead-end job working the night shift in his local convenience store. After calling a lonely hearts line, he spends the night with a mysterious women he meets through the service only to wake up with a raging STI and a burgeoning paranoia that he’s the subject of an occult conspiracy. As his condition deteriorates, his friends and family fear he is having a psychotic break but Jonathan is convinced he has been cursed and must seek mystical means of salvation.

Sinister and atmospheric, while there is a solid supporting cast, this is essentially a one-man show, showcasing Muniz’s not inconsiderable acting chops. It tackles many of the same themes as “Saint Maud” but in a much less oblique way and with a much more explicit acknowledgement of the supernatural and malign. Muniz is more than up to the task of holding your attention as we follow Jonathan’s deteriorating grip on reality and while the film rides the necessary fine line of ambiguity with respect to what is real and what is madness, it’s more unequivocal come the ending, especially in revealing the nature of the titular black string.

It’s an unexpectedly hard-hitting, compelling and well-crafted psychological horror that’s not afraid to stray into graphic body horror with an impressive central performance that deserves a wider audience.

6/10


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