OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Disappearance At Clifton Hill

The truth can be deceiving

If ever there was a setting crying out for cinematic exploitation, it’s the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. A tacky tourist wonderland that barely masks the grit of a company town gone to seed, the area is an ideal staging ground for a nasty little neo-noir or tight psychological thriller.

Fortunately, director Albert Shin has taken up the challenge, setting his delightfully twisty new mystery in the heart of the splashy-yet-trashy neighourhood. Focusing on Abby (Tuppence Middleton) as she returns to the Falls to settle family affairs, Shin’s film has great fun with expectations, from subverting an early-on romance to painting his lead into extremely tight narrative corners.

As Abby falls into a rabbit-hole conspiracy involving a missing boy, greedy developers, French-Canadian magicians, and a local podcaster played by David Cronenberg (!), Disappearance At Clifton Hill becomes just as thrilling and disturbing as its titular strip of haunted houses and fading-fast motels.

– Barry Hertz, The Globe And Mail

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