Fantasia 2016: The Alchemist Cookbook

A hermit living in the wood sets out to unlock an ancient mystery in The Alchemist Cookbook. Sean (Ty Hickson) is a man, who has become fed up with life and set himself up in an isolated trailer in the woods, accompanied only by his cat Kasper and regular grocery deliveries by Cortez (Amari Cheatom). Sean has been spending his time pursuing the forbidden art of alchemy, which eventually leads to him seeking something darker.

The Alchemist Cookbook is a slow burn of a film that follows a man living an isolated existence in the woods. The film is practically dialogue free for the first twenty minutes or so, until Cortez shows up to drop off supplies. It remains quite ambiguous what Sean is trying to accomplish through his various experiments, however it quickly becomes apparent that he is starting to explore areas that he probably should have stayed away from.

It can be hard to get too much into detail about The Alchemist Cookbook without getting into too much detail what the film is about, other than perhaps there are more than a few similarities to a certain Sam Raimi film. The film really takes its time to get to any real horror content and even then the film remains somewhat darkly humorous. While obviously made on the cheap, I still thought that The Alchemist Cookbook was a pretty effective tale of backwoods horror.

7 / 10 stars


Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).