The Strings (2020)

The Strings (2020) MOVIE DETAILS
Name: The Strings
Year: 2020
Country: Canada
Director: Ryan Glover
Main cast: Teagan Johnston, Jenna Schaefer, April Aliermo
Runtime: 94 minutes
Production company: Observer Effect Productions, Eggplant Picture & Sound


The Strings (2020) is an intimate movie about a young musician, frustrated with her career and her personal life, that locks herself in a house in the winter of cold Canada, in order to write and record her new album and, somehow, try to find herself again. It is a very intimistic film, as the music she plays is, and it has an element of mystery when some strange things happen, but I wouldn’t call it a horror film.

So, the main protagonist of the movie, being alone in most of the scenes of the film, is real-life musician Teagan Johnston, playing the character Catherine and the author of the songs the character is playing through the movie. An impressive debut in the world of films since her performance is a very honest one, and she doesn’t have any flaws when it’s the time to sustain the entire film on her flesh. And, yes, the fact that she is playing a character that could be very close to her real-life persona doesn’t detract from the solid performance she provides.

Together with the everyday happenings and the strugglings Teagan Johnston’s character goes through, the movie is a beautiful exercise of images and sounds compiled by the co-writer and director Ryan Glover, who is also the cinematographist and editor of the film. The treatment of the images and the slow tempo of the movie match perfectly with the arid and desolating landscapes, and also with the happenings in the film when the main character spends her time creating the new songs, trying to figure out what’s her next path to follow, having video-calls with a friend, and feeling the goosebumps of a blooming romance once again.

But some presence is there with the tormented musician, inhabiting the cold and bleak house. Perhaps it is a supernatural entity, or perhaps it is just the imagination of the character, but things out of the normal are happening in that house. I won’t get into more details so I don’t kill any surprises in the film, always avoid all spoilers, but a factor of mystery takes place in The Strings (2020). In fact, the entire movie is surrounded by a mysterious aura, that is intensified by the feeling of abandonment and coldness imprinted by landscapes, the house, the story, and the performance by Teagan Johnston.

So, for what it delivers, The Strings (2020) is a sublime film, tender and snarling at equal parts, but as life itself is. Beautiful but cold, full of life but subdued. The film gets to transfer those feelings to the viewer, and that’s mostly because of the great work done by the director Ryan Glover and his star Teagan Johnston.

The soundtrack formed by the score by Adrian Ellis and the songs by Teagan Johnston are also a very important part in creating the global sense of the movie, that feeling matching so well with the Canadian winter when you are alone.

The Strings (2020) is an emotional movie, but it’s not sappy. It is powerful in a very minimalistic way, as the landscapes can be, as the songs the main character is writing, and as solitude must be. A nice trip with a few surprises that is available on Shudder right now.

RATE: 6/10