5.2/10
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October Gale (2014)

A doctor takes in a mysterious man who washes ashore at her remote cottage with a gunshot wound. Quickly they both learn the killer has arrived to finish the job, while a storm has cut them off from the mainland.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Helen
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William
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Tom
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Al Tessier
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James Matthews
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Henry
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Ed the Marina Guy
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Storyline

A doctor takes in a mysterious man who washes ashore at her remote cottage with a gunshot wound. Quickly they both learn the killer has arrived to finish the job, while a storm has cut them off from the mainland.

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6 March 2015 (USA)  »

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A September Gale  »

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2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Over the back of the chesterfield in the cottage you can see a "Hudson's Bay Blanket". A white blanket with multicolored stripes, this blanket has been a staple in Canadian households, particularly cottages, over the years. See more »

Goofs

On the final scene, while standing face to face in an open space (no buildings or other structures casting shadows), Helen's face is brightly lit by sunlight on her left cheek, while Will is in a dim/uniform light. This suggests they were filmed at different times of the day. See more »

Soundtracks

Close Watch
By John Cale
Performed by Agnes Obel
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User Reviews

 
Nadda Bring Nadda Thing
21 February 2015 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Premiering during a special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), October GALE is a dramatic thriller that's too devoid of tension to be considered thrilling and far short of emotional and relatable characters to be considered dramatic.

It's a shame because the opening sequence of sweeping Parry Sound long shots and Steadicam shots of Helen (Patricia Clarkson) opening and cleaning the family's vacation cottage offered a promising segue into what appears to be (on the surface), a study in normative bereavement with a murderous twist. Likewise, the film's setting is a beautiful contradiction of comfortable isolation that quickly dissipates as the story's nonsensical and improbable choices become too incredulous to be believable.

Grieving the loss of her husband (played in silent flashbacks by Callum Keith Rennie) in a wild storm the previous year, Toronto doctor Helen Matthews (Clarkson) decides to return to her family's isolated cottage in an effort to move on. After single-handedly opening up the warm and comforting home in Georgian Bay, Helen begins the arduous task of sifting through and removing some of the mementos accumulated during their 32-year marriage.

The visual and aural planes of this transition from acceptance to perseverance are well crafted; the non-diegetic musical score gives way to diegetic empathetic sounds of the bay that feel crisp and renewing. Fortuitously so considering Helen shortly thereafter comes face-to-face with an unexpected and mysterious gentleman (Scott Speedman) crawling and bleeding on her floor with a gunshot wound. After treating his wound and grabbing her rifle, Helen waits for the stranger to wake up and when he does, Will is vague about the attack and about his life thus far until local handyman Al (Aidan Devine) decides to pay Helen an unexpected visit. Will relents and reveals that he had spent time in prison for manslaughter after a bar-fight and that the guy's father 'is not going to stop until he's killed me'.

As the storm gains momentum outside, Helen agrees (stupidly I might add) to allow Will to stay in her home as they lazily prepare themselves for Al and the gunman to return. The script here is utter wish-wash: writer/director Ruba Nadda (INESCAPABLE) fails to build any suspense and tension for the ensuing action causing it to fall flat, it fails to explain how Helen's appears to be a survivalist doctor who's also a crack shot, nor the circumstances of Will's incarceration and Helen's inconceivable trust in a man she just met.

Clarkson and Speedman should however, be applauded for their performances: extracting every nuance they could from their two-dimensional characters to at least be creditable. Overall, if 'it's OK' are the only two words I can come up with after 91 minutes, it's probably safe to say you might want to wait to watch it on video.

You can catch me on my handle @TheSachaHall or at The Hollywood News.


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