THE UNHEALER (2020) Reviews and overview

 

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‘With great power comes great pain’

The Unhealer is a 2020 American horror film about a bullied teenager who gains the means to fight back when he gains supernatural powers. When his lifelong tormentors pull a prank that causes the death of someone he loves, the teen uses his newfound abilities for revenge and goes on a bloody rampage to settle the score.

Directed by Martin Guigui (Beneath the Darkness; The Bronx Bull; Future World) from a screenplay co-written by Kevin E. Moore and J. Shawn Harris. Produced by Galen Walker, Cristi Harris, J. Shawn Harris and Tony Hannagan.

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The movie stars Natasha Henstridge (Species), Lance Henriksen (Aliens; Near Dark), Elijah Nelson, Kayla Carlson, Adam Beach (Suicide Squad; Cowboys & Aliens), Chris Browning, Cristi Harris (Night of the Demons 2) and Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King; Hard To Kill).

Reviews:

The Unhealer is a collection of good ideas horribly tied together, with a script that features flawed dialogue, an incoherent plot, and weak characters accompanied by poor acting. The subject of compulsive eating disorder (pica) is an interesting idea, but one that has already been worked on in a much better way in Swallow.” 10th Circle

The Unhealer is aided by some great turns, particularly Henriksen, albeit he isn’t in it for long, and Henstridge as Kelly’s worried mum; Elijah Nelson is also convincing as the weakling turned superboy Kelly. This is an enjoyable old school movie that plays like one of those shiny mid-career Wes Craven movies like Deadly Friend (1986). Recommended.” Dark Eyes of London

“Hokey or not, any fan of classic Stephen King should definitely check out The Unhealer. With a few genuine surprises along the way, some real tragedy, and a confident knack of delivering on its potential, The Unhealer has a lot of fun with its idea. While it’s not utterly perfect or all that polished, it’s certainly different enough to be well worth your time.” Horror DNA

“References to Native American traditions and folklore, along with any messages about why bullying is bad, are all surface-level — Guigui, working from a screenplay by Kevin E. Moore and J. Shawn Harris, is out to entertain in this valentine to the decade that gave us teen horror such as The Faculty and Idle Hands. The cast gives spirited performances throughout…” Horror Fuel

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The Unhealer undid my preconceptions and unequivocally left me impressed. The main plot’s pivot packs the necessary emotional clout and the switches between amusing, shocking and downright barmy are handled with consummate ease. The premise is a doozy, the performances are engaging and it doesn’t run a minute longer than it should.” Love Horror

“Truly dark subject matter, lightened by not only humour but by the performances of its cast; performances that make the supernatural seem natural, grounding this film not only in reality but on the right side of morality. No one is in the right here, everything is shades of grey. Delivering a film that, in an ideal world (and this film shows us the world is not ideal), would be hailed as a modern-day classic. Because it is.” Nerdly

“Ignoring the bizarrely heartless townsfolk, and a cringe-inducing moment in which Kelly accidentally causes two classmates around him to share his ‘blue’ daydream this wasn’t bad. I liked Kelly enough that I wanted him to come out on top, while the bullies at least certainly deserved their comeuppance. Helped by some mostly decent special effects this was a fun if a slightly forgettable teen horror to watch.” The Rotting Zombie

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Cast and characters:

Lance Henriksen … Pflueger
Elijah Nelson … Kelly
Shelby Janes … Paulette
Kayla Carlson … Dominique
Angeline Appel … Sarah
David Gridley … Nelson
Gavin Casalegno … Reed
Will Ropp … Tony
Thomas Archer … Brad
Mike Gray … Tucker
Shauna Wright … Kendall
Natasha Henstridge … Bernice
Cristi Harris … Terry
Ava Gardner … Avery
Branscombe Richmond … Red Elk
Kevin E. West … Fitzgerald
Ian Fisher … Jed
Linda Rae Jurgens … Mina
Dave Cobert … Ross
Dejzon Walker … Carter
Craig Hensley … Ruddock
Adam Beach … Adler
Tommy Goodwin … McCarthy
Chris Browning … Gus
Corbin Timbrook … Mr Crowley
Esther Guigui … Cheerleader
Justin Dean Jones … Chucky
Michael Hauser … Preacher (as Mike Hauser)
Dahlia Waingort Guigui … Ms Skinner (as Dahlia Waingort)
Con Schell … Excavator

Filming locations:

Arizona

Technical details:

94 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Trailer:

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