THE HOLLY KANE EXPERIMENT *** U.K. 2017 Dir: Tom Sands 103 mins
Workaholic Psychologist, Holly Kane, has been working on a technique that can control pain and anxiety in the subconscious mind by use of subliminal messages whilst immersed in a meditative state. She is offered the chance to submerge herself into the development of her technique by an older man, Marvin Greenslade, who is secretly working for the government but makes no secret about his feelings towards Holly.
She jumps at the chance to be able to concentrate solely on her research but little does she know that Greenslade is using her techniques against her to take credit and get in her pants it would seem. It also seems a weird coincidence that a mysterious stranger appears in her life at the exact moment she starts to realise she is spiralling out of control and is no longer sure she can trust her own thoughts. Set with an undercurrent of radio reports of terrorist attacks and conspiracy theories its main theme seems to be about manipulation and corruption. Holly Kane (Kirsty Averton) starts out as a strong willed, independent woman determined to prove her technique is achievable. She puts herself through many experiments using hallucinogenic potions created by her chemist friend Jeannie (Lindsey Campbell), a flotation tank and her own subliminal messages but ends up a shell of her former self. I have to admit to finding elements of her character annoying and hard to swallow even before she was being manipulated. For example; no self respecting “independent” woman would agree to go on a date with a guy who has just approached them and said he’s been stalking them for the last few days and then on said date tells him everything about their life during the first drink. Plus did she not think it was weird he was avoiding any form of CCTV surveillance? That being said the actors themselves did a great job with the script and direction they were given and there were some really rather uncomfortable scenes between Greenslade and Kane and another tense moment involving bare breasts and a razor blade. Some of it was filler material with long shots of a naked Kirsty Averton floating about in the ocean and other slightly pointless stuff. There are a few other discrepancies along the way but it does still hold your attention throughout. I enjoyed the ending especially how it ended for Jeannie after her traumatic encounter. For its budget it was shot well and looked pretty slick in production with a good soundtrack. I don’t expect I will be watching it again but I thought it was a good effort.
Review by Sarah Budd