Seth A. Smith’s Tin Can transports viewers into an all too familiar reality where a fungal outbreak named Coral rages across the world. As Fret (Anna Hopkins), a leading parasitologist, is close to discovering ways to control the outbreak, she’s attacked and kidnapped, waking up after an unknown amount of time trapped in a life-suspension chamber.

At times visually abstract and employing unique camera angles, it’s sometimes hard to grasp what’s actually happening on screen, which can be extremely jarring, but also keeps such a restricted location interesting to watch. The sound design adds to the creeping tension: we can hear Hopkins’ erratic heartbeat and every laboured breath she takes, as well as the screams of those suffering somewhere nearby. Due to the confined nature of our protagonist being stuck in this small space, the camera remains extremely close, forcing the audience to feel this claustrophobia.

Over half of the runtime is spent stuck in the chamber with Hopkins, the camera only allowing the audience to see what she is able to. This closeness creates a sense of intimacy between Hopkins and the viewer, reflecting our own desperation, not only to escape isolation, but to connect with other people.

Hopkins’ performance is what drives this story forward, her strength demonstrating the innate need to survive, but it all begins to unravel towards the end, undoing what initially made the film intriguing, and pushing the viewer back to being at arm’s length as we learn about life beyond these confines.

Tin Can is an impressive feat, an experimental sci-fi horror that succeeds in creating a world that’s rooted in our own despite the fantastical elements, and although the end takes a disappointing turn, perhaps it’s this exploration of people’s imperfection that is its most human element.



CAST: Anna Hopkins, Michael Ironside, Kristin Langille, Simon Mutabazi, Chik White

DIRECTOR: Seth A. Smith

WRITERS: Seth A. Smith, Darcy Spidle

SYNOPSIS: As the world faces a deadly plague, a parasitologist is imprisoned in a life-suspension chamber.