Sublet, The. Delivers a Cerebral Onslaught of Thriller and Horror

Sublet, The Film Details Director: John Ainslie Writer(s):   John Ainslie, Alyson Richards The Sublet

Director: John Ainslie 


John AinslieAlyson Richards

Release Date:

June 2017

Release Format:


MPAA Rating: N/A


Horror, Mystery 

Running Time: 

1h 22min 


The Sublet is a suspense driven psychological thriller about Joanna, a new mom coping with her baby alone in an odd sublet apartment. As her husband neglects her to focus on his career, Joanna questions her sanity as she discovers a violent past to the apartment and suspects that the building may be haunted


Phantoms, demons, poltergeists, these are the norm when the haunted house concept comes to mind. These storylines have a predictable ritual. Why change what works best, right? Although borrowing from established methods The Sublet ventures into different story elements thus making this production a fresh perspective to Horror cinema.

Beginning with the backdrop and fright factor The Sublet is an interesting approach that blends Horror and Thriller into one cohesive production. Instead of the typical suburban home, the setting unfolds in an urban environment. Filmmakers have seldom offered this approach which makes the idea feel original.

Horror connoisseurs and casual viewers have acquaintance with haunted house tales. With its predictability did this theme lose its appeal? The Sublet provides a unique aesthetic both with visuals and narrative. This strategy proposes to produce innovative conceptions forward in an otherwise saturated sub-genre. Phantasms are not the alienating force in this film. For the narrative, Ainslie and Richards use an established psychological technique.

The Sublet releases on VOD/DVD the 17th of July 2017 via TriCoast Entertainment, Breakthrough Entertainment, and Black Fawn Films. Director: John Ainslie Writer(s):   John Ainslie, Alyson Richards The Sublet


The cinematics had a Hitchcockian aesthetic creating turmoil and tension. One clear example of this observation is the superimposed view to the staircase. This clever shot is a metaphorical aid to the protagonist’s downward spiral. Regarding the cinematography, Greg Biskup used natural atmospherics to create the mood. Color gels if adopted, would have intensified the stages with a surreal approach.

Gripping and incessant are two expressions that best describe The Sublet. Intense action rolls out from the first Act and doesn’t waver until the closing credits. Audiences will enjoy the psychological assault presented, an approach unseen in recent indie Horror/Thrillers. The hard-hitting emotional content is unforgiving. Placing the supernatural element at a minimal is a great change of narrative pace. The Sublet excels with aggression and derangement.

Actress Tianna Nori is outstanding in her depiction of a woman plunging into hysteria. Nori’s act feels satisfying and passionate. Mark Matechuk fairs in his role as Nori’s fiancée. Yet, the chemistry between them was lacking. The pair’s relationship didn’t feel reinforced, believable or conveying. Matechuck’s character enters the scene every so often to remind audiences of his importance. Director: John Ainslie Writer(s):   John Ainslie, Alyson Richards The Sublet


Some scenes offered cliches and diminish the narrative evolution. For instance, the writers hinted something awry with the “sugar in the coffee” story peripheral. This is a trait seen many times over. Did the authors believe this to be a cunning plot twist? In actuality, there was not much of a dent in the suspenseful armor with this ploy. Another instance sees the tormented character Joanna regurgitating a foreign object. This Horror infused visual felt uncomfortable and that was the intent. Yet, after seeing it time and time again in other releases there isn’t much of heightened appeal here.

There were obvious problems with the plot. The visitation by the Detective Harrison and Detective Galagher felt purposeless and out of place. Were these individuals a splinter of imagination or were they, physical persons? These characters had no corresponding place within the context of the plot. Mark Ettlinger and Jeff Sinasac portray Detective Harrison and Detective Galagher respectively and exhibit a B-movie style of acting that marred the scene. This is the only instance in the film that lowers the cinematic quality.

Also, the ex-girlfriend component had little impact. The character, Margaret (Portrayed by Krista Madisonwas a disposable asset. With an onscreen estimated time of four minutes, Madison’s fundamental connection to the conflict was weak.

Most of the film takes place within the apartment and after a while the expression becomes claustrophobic. A break up in the atmosphere would have served well against the malaise of the tight living quarters. Director: John Ainslie Writer(s):   John Ainslie, Alyson Richards The Sublet

In Conclusion:

The Sublet while not original in approach is innovative. There exist many films that trek on similar plots yet John Ainslie and Alyson Richards repackages the formula into a prominent visual statement. The narrative becomes perfunctory but overall The Sublet addresses the expected passionate composition.

Actress Tianna Nori does not star in the film, she is the star of this film.

Click for information on rating metric: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive Director: John Ainslie Writer(s):   John Ainslie, Alyson Richards The Sublet



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