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  • Writer's pictureJohn Ainslie

Terrifyingly Familiar - A Feature and Interview with Director John Ainslie - Apex Magazine

The Sublet, directed by John Ainslie, is a psychological thriller starring Tianna Nori and Mark Matechuk. The film won both Best Cinematography and Best Actress at the Phoenix Festival (U.S.) Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival in 2016 and has been widely regarded around the world. This summer The Sublet debuted in America, and you can now watch it streaming on Amazon and iTunes, or pick up a copy of the DVD from Amazon or direct from Black Fawn Distribution.

This is an intense film that toys with the viewer, making you question whether anything you’re seeing is real, or if it is all a manifestation of the main character Joanna’s (played by Tianna Nori) depression. Everything about the film is heavy and claustrophobic and all too familiar, the dread building as we watch Joanna move through her days.

As a woman who made the decision to be a stay-at-home parent, I felt myself relating with Joanna. It was my decision, it was what I felt was best for my family, but staying home—purposefully cutting myself off from outside adult interactions—was much harder than I initially thought it would be. I found myself in this endless loop of getting up, taking care of my daughter, and moving through my home in a daze. It was something I struggled with personally, and seeing it play out on the screen, seeing Joanna spiral into that horrifying routine, was incredibly unsettling. When she’s pleading with her fiancé Jeff (played by Mark Matechuk) that she doesn’t feel right, that he doesn’t understand, I could feel her desperation.


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