LAVENDER (2016) Reviews and overview

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‘The past won’t forget’

Lavender is a 2016 Canadian horror thriller feature film directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly (The Last Exorcism Part II) from a screenplay co-written with Colin Frizzell. The movie stars Abbie Cornish, Diego Klattenhoff, Dermot Mulroney, Justin Long, Lola Flanery, Sarah Abbott and Peyton Kennedy.


Jane, a photographer, is forced to come to terms with her mysterious and tragic past after a horrendous car accident robs her of her memory.

Along with her husband and daughter, Jane returns to her childhood home and reconnects with her estranged uncle. To take control of her life, Jane must confront a mysterious lurking force and grapple with a past that continues to haunt her…



“Of course, just dropping the phrase “family secrets” sort of telegraphs the big reveal (just how many different kinds of family secrets do we ever see in movies?), but the getting-there is quite skillful. Recommended for fans of moody, carefully produced supernatural thrillers…” J.B. Spins


“Director and co-writer Edward Gass-Donnelly is very confident, stylistically. That isn’t always a good thing, especially when a film and its cast need some occasional beats to gather themselves and move at a human pace, if only to provide contrast for the scary stuff. Weirdly, the spooks don’t arrive until more than halfway into this 90-minute effort, which aestheticizes everything…” The Georgia Straight

“Director Ed Gass-Donnelly imbues the film with a lot of style […] and obviously has visual talent to spare. Had the material been better suited to his grandiose flourishes, Lavender might have been something special. Instead, it’s a respectable, if muddled, horror film for people who would rather be watching a domestic drama, and vice versa.” Screen Anarchy


“If Lavender never develops in a particularly novel direction, it nonetheless benefits from the commanding presence of Cornish, who projects a measure of confidence and intelligence that’s a welcome reprieve from the usual bewildered-panicky heroine behavior found in so many likeminded supernatural sagas.” Variety

“There are things in Lavender that seriously creeped me out. The entire premise deals with facing an inevitable haunting storm as the walls close around your perception of reality. That defenceless inability to find refuge is what makes this horror/thriller work in spades.” Wylie Writes

“This sort-of ghost story/sort-of psychological thriller has a nice, slow-building sense of creepiness – but at heart it’s the sort of pat, female-led mystery that Hallmark make for TV in the US (and are often seen on the UK’s Channel 5 in the afternoon). It was even made in Canada, home to many a suds-and-slash quickie.” The Kim Newman Web Site


“The actors cast all play with a reasonable conviction in their parts. The main problem with Lavender is that it feels as though it is well-rehearsed and a technically polished film but one where everything is delivered by automatic without much involvement. Ed Gass-Donnelly delivers a few scares but they are so tepid as to be instantly forgettable.” Moria

Lavender sometimes struggles with its icy pacing as shards of Jane’s discombobulated memory repeat and return. The repetitive bent to the film is more of a tease than an agent of suspense. The film is admittedly slow, and confidently so, but the strong final act redeems it.” Cinemablographer

Cast and characters:

  • Abbie Cornish … Jane
  • Dermot Mulroney … Patrick
  • Lola Flanery … Alice Rutter
  • Justin Long … Liam
  • Diego Klattenhoff … Alan
  • Sarah Abbott … Susie
  • Peyton Kennedy … Young Jane
  • Liisa Repo-Martell … Jennifer
  • Hardee T. Lineham … Officer #1
  • Katie Odegaard … Charlotte
  • Stuart Hughes … Doctor Michaels
  • Mackenzie Muldoon … Jody
  • David MacNiven … Newspaper Reporter

Production companies:

  • South Creek Pictures
  • 3 Legged Dog Films


Lavender was released exclusively on DISH on February 3, 2017, before it is released in movie theaters and VOD on March 3, 2017.

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