A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.
Simon and Robyn are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon's high school sends their world into a harrowing tailspin. Simon doesn't recognize Gordo at first, but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she starts to question: how well do we really know the people closest to us, and are past bygones ever really bygones?Written by
Yeah, this was a lot of fun. I mean, the story reminds me of many others (most noticeably, Gone Girl and Side Effects) in that it's able to turn its story in more ways than one. As a very straight- forward thriller (the first half of the film) it works marvelously. Edgerton really has such a confident control of the pacing and the tone he wants the film to have, and when it switched direction, he's still able to keep the audience in their toes. What's most impressive is that this really is such a B-plot in many ways, but Edgerton goes further and really develops a thoughtful morality tale. Just when the film seems like it's going to go down the rabbit hole and not come back, he reveals another aspect of the story that puts it al in perspective. There are a few implausibilities (like someone else said, not sure if I can buy that she would be unaware of how he was for such a long time) but there are enough answers to such questions that are satisfactory and don't damage the film as a whole.
The three leads are also so fantastic. Edgerton is perfect, and Bateman also really surprising. Who knew the lead from Arrested Development (although in retrospect his character never really stayed in caricature mode really) had this in him? He has some really dramatic scenes that blew me away. Rebecca Hall is such a great screen presence so her I'm not surprised about at all. She's just great.
I think what's also really impressive about the film is that nothing comes out of nowhere. Every turn you sort of have an inkling, and you see all of the clues planted early. This may seem like a problem for many ("i totally saw that coming") but for storytelling, it's what works best in retrospect. The film at its core is really about the way our past can have consequences not just for us but for others, and the way it can also shape other people in ways you wouldn't expect. Simple, but effective.
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