What Keeps You Alive ★★★½

On the occasion of their one-year wedding anniversary, Jules (Brittany Allen) and Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) decamp for a quiet weekend at the latter woman’s family lake house. However, the appearance of a neighbor (Martha MacIsaac) unearths some awkward secrets, setting up a shocking descent into blood-spattered terror. A nail-biting and often stylish entry in a narrow subgenre – the fraught relationship drama that erupts into survival horror – 'What Keeps You Alive' is the least fantastical film to date from director Colin Minihan ('It Stains the Sand Red', 'Extraterrestrial'), and also his best. It goes too far to assert that the feature’s queerness is incidental, given that the story is, in part, a nightmare scenario built on the distinct anxieties and tribulations of lesbian romantic relationships. However, it’s refreshing to encounter a film where the characters’ sexuality is secondary to gritty thriller fundamentals. Although it indulges in too much wheel-spinning in its latter half, it’s still a dark, gut-wrenching pleasure, anchored by Anderson’s utterly chilling performance.