What if you suffered from extreme hydrophobia, a fear of water so overwhelming that a mere glass of the liquid, or a light rain, sent you into hysterics? Now what if that fear — which everyone around you believes to be completely irrational — was justified? That’s the terrifying premise of THE DROWNSMAN, the latest feature from Black Fawn Films (ANTISOCIAL, IF A TREE FALLS). Michelle Mylett (ANTISOCIAL) stars as Madison, a young woman who falls off a dock and nearly drowns. Her near-death experience opens a door to the realm of the Drownsman, an evil entity spawned from a serial killer who kidnapped women and drowned them in boxes in his basement until one of his victims killed him. Now a hulking, slimy boogeyman, he wants to pull Madison back into his shadow world. When her disbelieving friends try to cure her trauma by immersing her in a bathtub, they unwittingly let the Drownsman loose on all of them. Now Madison must investigate the killer’s twisted backstory in order to find a way to defeat him for good before she and everyone she loves are sucked into the depths of his shadow world to suffer a horrifying fate.
As a director, writer, editor, producer and cinematographer, DROWNSMAN helmer Chad Archibald has had a hand in a slew of recent Ontario-shot independent films, including the aforementioned ANTISOCIAL and IF A TREE FALLS, plus the Tony Burgess-penned SEPTIC MAN and upcoming EJECTA. Here, Archibald and co-writer Cody Calahan (ANTISOCIAL) create a boogeyman that’s one part watery J-horror ghost and one part A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET-style urban legend, in a new twist on the classic horror-movie stalker scenario. A washing machine, the bathroom sink, even a puddle on the floor — only a few drops and the hideous Drownsman can pull you down into his watery hell.
— Dave Alexander