by Tom Kapr
Wherein I attempt to watch one new-to-me horror film every day of October till Halloween and write a quick review. I will end my review with a letter grade like we do on our podcast (A, B, C, D, or F–pluses and minuses are for the non-committal!) and with the movie’s rank on my Flickchart.
Writer/director Christopher Smith has crafted one of the twistiest thrillers in recent memory. Melissa George plays the mother of an autistic child who just wants to have a day away at sea with a guy who frequents the diner where she works. But they sail into the Bermuda Triangle, get hit by a freak storm, and then picked up by a cruise ship. Things get weird from there, and to say anything more specifically from there would be a spoiler of the criminal kind.
The other two films that come to mind while watching this are Shane Carruth’s Primer and the Ashton Kutcher vehicle The Butterfly Effect. This film will take a long time, and possibly repeated viewings, to process, so at the moment I’m not sure if it’s closer to the logic of Primer, where maybe you can’t follow all of it but it still feels like it makes sense; or the illogic of The Butterfly Effect, where certain moments were concocted merely for shock effect at the cost of the integrity of the story. I do feel like the story has some cracks that start to show the more I think about it, but I’ve rarely so enjoyed thinking about a film, so that in itself is a plus.
It helps that the film is patiently and painstakingly directed, and that Melissa George is a fine actor to take on the complex emotional demands of her character.
Final grade: B
My Flickchart ranking: #782 (out 3271, a relative 76/100)