Need a reason to stay up tonight? The Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival‘s late night screening will have you squirming in your seat.

A woman and man awake in an abandoned hospital, severely wounded and strapped to beds by a menacing stranger. The unfortunate victims lack not only mobility, but their memories — neither can recall their names, let alone the events that led them to their current predicament. Their sinister caretaker, a nameless man with a penchant for sadism, certainly isn’t sharing any answers (though he’s more than happy to play doctor).

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It sounds like the set-up for a particularly gruesome and facile piece of torture porn. Thankfully, Rob Grant’s Alive leans heavily into psychological horror (and eventually survival horror) territory instead, sidestepping the gratuitous violence that the premise seems to promise. Unarmed and injured, the pair must rely on their wits to help them outmanoeuvre their captor. The clever script by Chuck McCue and Jules Vincent carefully and subtly builds the foundation for a beautiful pay-off at the end.

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The Toronto premiere of Alive screens at 9:30pm on Friday, November 23rd, following the Canadian premiere of Alex Coleman’s short film To Catch a Mouse.