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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 30, 2023



‘THE PIPER’ is an American horror flick being released here ahead of its U.S.A. exhibition. 

It is written and directed by Erlingur Thoroddsen, an Icelandic filmmaker who has earlier made the psychological thriller in Iceland, “Rift”. 

“The Piper” is his first big commercial release. 

This is a sinister, modern re-imagining of the folk tale “Pied Piper of Hamelin”, about a piper who helped the people of Hamelin get rid of the rats in their city. 

They promised to pay him and he used his pipe to lure the rats to jump into a lake. When the Hamelin people refuse to pay him, he uses his pipe again to lure their children this time to jump into the lake.

The movie starts with an elderly female composer named Katherine burning her latest composition, a piano concerto for children. In the process, she also ignites herself and she ignites.

The conductor of the orchestra that is supposed to play the concerto as part of their 50th anniversary celebration, Gustafson (Julian Sands), is so upset that Katherine died without finishing her work. 

Melanie Walker (“Game of Thrones”), a young composer who is also the orchestra’s flutist, volunteers to continue writing the concerto’s last movement as Katherine was her mentor.

She goes to the home of the late composer to ask help from Katherine’s sister, Alice (Pippa Winslow), but she is rebuffed. So she returns secretly and searches for the uncompleted notes on the concert that Katherine left.

She finds them and also sees audio recordings of the first two movements of the concerto that she all took home.

Mel has a tween daughter, Zoe (Aiobhe O’Flanagan), who is hearing impaired. Zoe and her friend, Colin (Oliver Savell), the son of another musician, see the audio recording. Colin listens to it and soon, he suddenly goes missing. 

Mel asks the help of her friend, Philip (Alexis Rodney), to help decipher Katherine’s notes and recording, but Philip’s life is also put in danger. 

Mel eventually realizes that playing the concerto for children can lead into deadly consequences as it awakens an evil force.

The film’s climax happens right during the orchestra’s 50th anniversary concert. 

The demonic Pied Piper bursts out from the body of Mel’s rival musician, Franklin (Philipp Christopher). This is the movie’s goriest and bloodiest sequence. 

The frightening piper then proceeds to play his pipe to lure the children in the audience to join him as he goes to the afterlife.

Mel tries her best to help rescue the captive children, who are all in a trance, including her own daughter Zoe.  

The movie’s climax has an emotionally affecting element in its core: the relationship between the beleaguered mother and her hearing impaired daughter.

The film depends a lot on the strength of their performances as they bond together to help fight off the supernatural powers of the malevolent piper. 

The two actresses act competently in the terrifying scenes and the part where the piper tries to attack them both can really give you a good scare as you truly root for both of them so they can escape from their ordeal unscathed. 

“The Piper” opens in theaters this Wednesday as a special Halloween presentation.