The Wasting

Genre:  Drama, Thriller
Running Time:  98 min.
Release Date: March 2, 2018 - Toronto

Current rating: Rating: 5.00
based on 10 votes and 1 reviews
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Cast: Alexz Johnson, Lauren McQueen, Sean Saunders Stevenson


Sophie (Lauren McQueen) is a teenager in an idyllic English town struggling to come of age, braving her first love and her sexual awakening. She has a secret boyfriend, Liam (Sean Saunders Stevenson), a badass best girlfriend, and controlling parents who won't let her grow up, so she fights back with the only weapon she has — she stops eating.

That is, until a nightmarish ghost appears that may be real, or may be a deadly creation of her starving body. Because of her anorexia, nobody believes her when she says she's being haunted. With Sophie's life on the line, a dark family secret surfaces as the battle of wills becomes a battle for survival. Canadian Connection  Canadian Connection: Alexz Johnson was born in British Columbia and starred in the Canadian series "Instant Star" for four years.

Director: Carolyn Saunders
Studio: IndieCan Entertainment
Producer(s): Jeanne Stromberg, Carolyn Saunders, Alan Hausegger
Screenplay: Carolyn Saunders
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  • 5 stars "A fascinating premise, beautifully done, with far more depth than your average horror. The Wasting is about anorexic teen Sophie, who is haunted by a ghost that only she believes is there. Her friends and family think she's hallucinating; their lack of support makes her feel more alone than ever, a betrayal that does as much damage as their refusal to call her eating disorder by its name. The Wasting has a lot to say about the nature of mental illness, in a way that is clearly well-researched, but also delivered in an entertaining package. First time director Carolyn Saunders has crafted a thoughtful, complex film that is more of a horror in the way that The Others or Sixth Sense or Babadook is: It's a human story wrapped in a ghost story. The characters are well drawn and realistic, strongly portrayed by the young, highly watchable cast. Lauren McQueen stuns with a subtle, sensitive performance as Sophie, speaking volumes with her eyes alone. Alexz Johnson is natural and unforced as the opinionated Grace - and what a pleasure it is to see a female character with so much strength and such unapologetic opinions. The Bechdel people should put this one on the top of their charts. Brothers Liam and Kai are played with complexity by real brothers Sean Stevenson and Brendan Flynn, who give us sibling rivalry and sibling loyalty all at once, while still maintaining their own very distinct voices - Stevenson charms as the earnest Liam, while Flynn's conflicted Kai is a believable depiction of a young man struggling to do the right thing and falling short. As Sophie's parents, Gray O'Brien and Shelagh McLeod add to the complexity, and in a film that is entirely Sophie's POV, we are never sure where they stand. She fluctuates between defending her controlling father to her skeptical friends, to a chilling scene when he tells her "eyes down", and she drops her gaze as if she's never known anything but subjugation. I must also mention the stunning cinematography of The Wastin"