Fantasia 2021 Capsule Review: Tin Can

Likely one of the most topical films at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival is Tin Can. Directed by Seth A. Smith (The Crescent) and co-written by Smith and Darcy Spidle (The Crescent), Tin Can tells the story of a parasitologist trying to stop the spread of a deadly plague. Just as she makes a breakthrough in her experiments, she is knocked out awakes in a life-suspension chamber. This claustrophobic space does quite a bit to quickly build tension. From there it us up to the parasitologist to try and determine how she ended up in this “tin can,” what the state of the outside world is, and how she can escape this metal prison. The plot relies on a non-linear series of flashbacks to gradually reveal different twists and turns leading up to the final moments of the film.

At first, Tin Can is quite intriguing. The use of a tiny, enclosed space for a majority of the film is surprisingly effective and is sure to induce anxiety in the more claustrophobic viewers. What this film suffers from the most is being relatively confusing at times. Some of those confusing plot points are resolved by flashback scenes, while other aspects are sure to leave the audience still scratching their head as the credits roll. There are some unique practical effects and interesting set design, although certain fabricated costumes look like they would be more fitting in an old Doctor Who episode rather than a 2021 film. The highlights of Tin Can are definitely the unique plot and the strong performance by Anna Hopkins (The Expanse, Shadowhunters) as the parasitologist. While the film left me wanting something more, Tin Can is sure to find an audience who will adore it.

Tin Can gets off to a strong start, but fails to tie all of its loose ends in a coherent conclusion.


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