What Keeps You Alive – Canada, 2018

What Keeps You Alive is a 2018 Canadian psychological thriller film written, co-produced and directed by Colin Minihan. (It Stains the Sands Red; Extraterrestrial). It stars Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, and Martha MacIsaac.

On the eve of their one year wedding anniversary, Jules (Brittany Allen) and Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) become embroiled in a merciless fight for their lives when they find themselves pitted against the most unexpected of adversaries: each other.

As violence rains down upon their idyllic forest getaway, the women engage in a frenzied psychological and vicious battle that will test the very limits of their instinct to survive…

The film debuts at SXSW this week as part of their Midnighters selection.


“You can see what Minihan was going for, but it just doesn’t work. The film also doesn’t completely seem to know what kind of tone it’s going for.  Jackie’s dialogue can come across as a little mustache-twirly one moment and then terrifying the next. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the shifts in tone are sometimes jarring.” Trace Thurman, Bloody Disgusting

“Be it the beautiful visuals of the forest or the fascinating back-and-forth between Jules and Jackie, What Keeps You Alive knows how to make the most out of every scene. Furthermore, those who like their horror movies to flow with rivulets of blood will not leave this movie disappointed as there are some decidedly cringe-inducing moments.” Jonathan Barkan, Dread Central

What Keeps You Alive isn’t flashy or loud (aside from those damn stingers) in announcing its presence, but it’s s solidly enjoyable thriller all the same. The villain earns our hate, the hero finds our support, and the ending reminds viewers of where we began. Love is a powerful motivation for survival.” Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects

“Both Anderson and Allen worked on last year’s Jigsaw, but this is another type of horror film entirely. Sure, there are shocking moments, but Minihan is working on a completely different level than most of his so-called peers. You’ll want to pause the film to absorb the beauty of practically every frame, but you won’t want to wait to see what the director has planned for you in the next shot.” Kimber Myers, The Playlist

” …the film makes a strong argument for the value of artistry in horror. Stark colors and an active camera, chasing or leading the characters, give the whole film a sense of intensity and dynamism […] Anderson and Allen are both compelling screen presences, with chemistry that slides between warm and natural, and downright electric.” Tasha Robinson, The Verge

Cast and characters:

  • Hannah Emily Anderson … Jackie (Jigsaw; Dark Phoenix)
  • Brittany Allen … Jules (It Stains the Sands Red)
  • Martha MacIsaac … Sarah
  • Joey Klein … Daniel
  • Charlotte Lindsay Marron … Young Jackie


Categories: 2018, Canadian, psychological horror

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