A troubled young man retreats from the big city and his ex-wife for the tranquility of a small town. He is drawn into a relationship with a young woman whose boyfriend goes missing, leaving the new arrival as a suspect.
Henry Harper is a successful novelist who has it all. But after surviving a recent trauma he finds himself haunted by a dream that terrifies him. Convinced that the only way to understand ... See full summary »
Frank John Hughes,
At 00:24:07, when in car with Topo and her mom, Chloe wants to play "I Spy". Looking at Bryan Cranston, she says "I spy with my little eye, something white". Can be writers' nod to Walter White, Cranston's famous character from Breaking Bad. See more »
When Quincy gets in the car at the mini mart you can see exhaust coming out of the tale pipe he talks to Topo about going to a motel then he starts the engine. See more »
I don't wanna go to school. I said I don't wanna go to school.
Oh, is that what that was?
You can't stay here with me all day, Sophia.
You know how to do a lot of things. You are very smart. Smarter than me, definitely. Then why do I have to go to school?
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'HHH Duck' is listed in the Stunts section of the credits as playing 'Mr. Jones the Turtle' (Sophia's pet - a painted turtle). 'HHH' stands for 'Horny Horny Horny'. See more »
Montreal lies due north of New York. To the south of Montreal are the Adirondack Mountains. It was here, at Saranac Lake in December 1887, that Robert Louis Stevenson first conceived of 'The Master Of Ballantrae', and decided to use the location for a setting in his novel. South of there lies Albany the capital city of the state of New York, and south of there is Sullivan County, where, in Bethel, was staged the famous Woodstock Festival of 1969.
Halfway between New York and Montreal, up the Hudson River, between Sullivan County and Albany, are the Catskill Mountains and Greene County. This is the setting for this film, but the Greene County of this film is a million miles away from the government in Albany or the hippies of Woodstock. Rather, the Greene County setting, is as dark as that Saranac setting of R.L. Stevenson.
After the credits, the film starts pleasantly enough with a mother sending her kid off to school. There follows a few short scenes which show effectively and efficiently the drudgery of the woman in her work. She works in a motel, as manager, chamber-maid, and sole employee, and she and her daughter live there too.
One night two men decide to stay in her motel. They are men on a mission. Not a mission from god, but rather their mission is to transport Mr Alfred Hitchcock's McGuffin.
The overnight stay at the motel starts a chain of events that quickly spiral out of control. At the centre of these events is Bryan Cranston, who plays one of the coldest characters ever seen since Tom Cruise in 'Collateral' (2004). Cold, ruthless, and unemotional, the words "I am a friend of your mothers", are truly terrifying.
The mother herself, played by Alice Eve, also shows no emotion or expression. She too is cold. She is portrayed as passive and submissive. This reviewer, whilst puzzled by this, feels that this must be a deliberate film-making decision; to show these characteristics as a learnt defence mechanism, which the mother has adopted to help her deal with her past and present circumstances.
At the heart of this film is the McGuffin, and the battle of wits between the male and female lead. Both leads are mostly laconic, and if you are looking for a film-noir with more twists than a pretzel, then you will not be disappointed by this film that fulfils the conventions and expectations of the genre.
Good support is given by the rest of the cast. Special mention should go to Ursula Parker, playing the daughter, who gives a very natural performance. Praise too, for Logan Marshall-Green, who plays a cop, and gives a very animated, heated, and passionate performance, which is the complete opposite of that of the two (cold) leads.
Some clever filming enables the audience to experience things through the eyes of the protagonists.
Viewers should not expect to learn everything. Some questions, and some plot-threads are deliberately left unexplained or vague. It is clear that some things are understated and left to our imagination.
If you liked 'Hard Eight' (1996), 'Collateral' (2004), or the recent 'Dead Man Down' from earlier this year, then this dark, tense, film is for you. Warning: Contains blood. 8/10.
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