Numb (2015) Poster

(I) (2015)

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In many ways the QuintEssential Canadian indie
A_Different_Drummer20 July 2016
And that may not be a compliment.

As I have indicated in other reviews, it is hard to review Canadian films entirely on their own merits. Frankly,if you did, they would not fare especially well. Because the Canadian film industry is one of those odd businesses which does not have to survive entirely on its own merits. Because of tax breaks, dollar exchanges, and geographical placement, the Canunk film machine is a lot like the president of a company that got the job not on talent but because he was the nephew or son in law of the Chairman of the Board. He can do the job. But there are also many others who can do it better.

Typical of the genre, we have a minimalist cast, largely unknown (although Bamber could pass for an international leading man) and a story which (heavy sigh) is a re-imagining of something older and wiser, (in this case Treasure of Sierra Madre, more or less.) Where the film gets props it is for the attempt (and I am choosing my words carefully) to turn the Canadian climate into a natural horror backdrop. This is somewhat clever and works somewhat well. To the point where you almost expect to see in the closing credits a SFX nod to "Mother Nature."

That said, the script is not especially sharp, nor is the acting. The brilliant and unappreciated TV series Fortitude did a much better job of making a natural climate seem menacing and scary. (Recommended if you missed it.)

Plus, (again heavy sigh) the film suffers from the standards "tells" one sees in most Canadian indies. The cinematography, the lighting, is perfect. Literally perfect. You get the feeling that the Director refused to shoot on any day that was overcast or had bad weather. Because in 40 years of trying, Canadian film-makers have never quite grasped that sometimes imperfection makes a story more credible. Even the outfits worn by the actors (until the final 15 minutes) look like they were replaced each morning, brand new, from the local Walmart.

Other IMDb members have commented on the fake reviews (a true failing in the IMDb system, especially with obscure films that get few reviews) so we will not go there.

And yes the film did win awards but (you guessed it) from a Canadian Award group. Essentially a group that had to find SOMEONE to give the awards to each year -- a paradox within a conundrum. Within an industry created by accountants.
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DogFilmCritic19 July 2016
I read the plot and i thought this looked interesting, it reminded me of the movie a simple plan but that movie was way more interesting than this.

While i watch it i could think of way better movies with the same theme that i could be watching, i don't hate it but nothing got me hooked to it.

I mean its not bad but there's nothing there that hasn't been done before in more interesting ways. The characters were boring and forgettable with

very used situations on way they are looking for the gold. Ill give thumbs up to the make up it look pretty good, either than that the movie is flat and its something to watch a Sunday afternoon and i doubt you will remember ever watching it afterwards.

Sadly this movie has a lot of "good reviews" or should i say payed reviews making it a thrilling master piece, I dare you to watch it and give it a 10 out of 10
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Definitely worth watching... just don't expect too much!
mksa-13 August 2017
Briefly, the movie is way better than I expected. Not a masterpiece, nothing special but worth watching. I have no deeper analysis. Period.

Except one 'detail' bothering me. I know it bothers very few of us, so please don't take me too seriously, just because I could not take the movie seriously. I happen to be a Finn, who has survived in frosty forests for the most of his miserable life.

The sub-zero conditions are hilariously unrealistic in the movie. There has to be a reason for this, right? There must be cold somewhere in Canada in winters. Maybe the production was late or something. I don't mean movies should always be realistic, but come on...

It is obviously very cold season, if not exceptionally cold winter. Characters get severe injuries of cold. Kind of damage not being possible without roughly -20°C (or -4°F) and strong wind. But as there is seemingly not that windy, it would be -40°C (or the same in °F) if not even under that. Without proper clothing you go NUMB in that environment. Then it knocks you out for good. Quickly. Before you become a half-frozen zombie.

Eyebrows seem to collect heavy ice layer, but breathing is hardly visible in most of the scenes. The ice layer usually builds up of moisture of your own breathe. Snowing looks like a rain. Because it is so warm it is practically raining.

The structure of snow around looks like it is wet and melting. Winterly rays of sun are too weak to have any effect on ice. The forest looks more like how it could look like in June in Finland... It must be around +5...10°C.

In Finland we call that summer. We go out and celebrate those rare moments of warmth, preferably naked. Well... just being honest, just paid attention to these facts, relevant or not :)
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A decent movie- *****Contains spoilers*****
mtjohnson-6100127 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This was more than a movie about greedy people searching for a pot of gold. This was pure unadulterated desperation by people searching for another life. They could not turn back not only because they had come to far but because they did not want the lives they were hoping to leave behind. They were willing to risk it all for the lure of gold. It really speaks to how wealth and materialism have pervaded our culture and become essentially worth more than life itself to far to many people. The frost biting cold wasn't enough to stop them because they had tunnel vision motivated by greed and desperation. Even if there was a better way to accomplish their mission they didn't trust each other and the idea of the wealth and life that lie ahead would not allow them to see the forest for the trees.

There was only one of them with a smidgen of rational and even he was to fool hearty to leave before almost dying from the bitter cold. If ever there was a movie that reflected the saying "desperate times calls for drastic measures" this movie certainly fits the bill. The acting was good too.
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BEWARE - Fake Reviews
mendzel18 July 2016
Buyer beware: I wouldn't trust anyones review whose ONLY activity is related to the movie they're reviewing,

Are these "fake" people? No. Are they all associated with the production of the movie? No Did they come to this page organically to review a movie of their own choosing? No.

I've been to movie premiers where they ask you to review them favorably on IMDb.

I politely decline, and so should you if you weren't planning on reviewing it before.

The movie is not bad.

My rating is objective.
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A waste of time.
kynick23 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Often my friends call me "snob" when it comes to movies...I guess I am. This movie makes the ABC movie of the week look like "Classics" Last year I had my students make short films. I gave them a month. More than a few were far superior to this film.

1. Picking up 2 random folks on a highway is always a dangerous thing to do but I wondered...where did they come from? I mean, did they see a broken down car somewhere? Maybe it's a Canada thing..."sure hop in" 2. I get that they weren't aware of the terrain (the cliff) BUT I would have thought they'd at least know, food, maybe use some of the money they got off the old man to buy GLOVES, HATS etc.

3. The entire story was just ridic. The back story with the lost job. What was that? I just can't go on.
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Gold digging
sergelamarche13 September 2018
A bit of a standard story of gold treasure à la canadienne. Rather crazy and psychopathic all along, the englishes want to get rich quick and die rich. Cabin fever in the cold.
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Classic storyline with flawed logic throughout the movie
mryang013 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The story is simple - A recently financially crippled couple finds an incredible opportunity to get rich the easy way - By treasure hunting a stash of gold hidden some 20 years ago from a bank robbery. Cinematics and sound are great and the acting is "ok" for the most part. However - Why do the directors insist that people are stupid? The movie gets me up to the point where logic gets so flawed, it simply can't be ignored.

SPOILERS FOLLOWS: *************************************** 01. When they find the old man - they don't take off his clothes - And the driver is a forest site inspector, used to the cold weather and don't know how to treat someone with hypothermia? I IGNORED THIS.

02. Openly arguing about the "treasure" in a restaurant with the possibility of camera surveillance? I IGNORED THIS.

03. Stealing a GPS although they found several thousand dollars in the old mans pockets? I IGNORED THIS.

04. Not taking into consideration that 4 million dollars worth of gold would weigh a minimum of 300 pounds and not bring any rucsac for any of the 4 people in the group? I IGNORED THIS.

05. Go out for the treasure "hunt" with ZERO planning? I IGNORED THIS.

06. Go out in the morning without buying ANY NECESSARY EQUIPMENT or protective clothing? Well, this I couldn't ignore. WHO in their right mind would go out in feet deep snow in loafers, no gloves, no hat AND NO planning of the terrain to cover? WTF? No shovel? No backpack? I mean - COME ON - They could have bought all their equipment in any gas station.

AND - Obviously - Everything goes down hill from here. There are thousands of other narratives that could have been exploited in this scenario. There is a hidden conflict between the pairs. Moral issues. Equipment failure. Gold moved. Hard ground. They brake into the cabin (this could have been much better used in the movie).
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dmcalpine-9196019 July 2016
watched this movie start to finish hoping it would get better it had great film work and actors were OK but story was completely predictable it was also padded out so much i nearly fell asleep it was not believable that they would be so stupid to enter these conditions unprepared for the cold just they were greedy to be frank i thought the film was pointless and a waste of my valuable time i do not know how it achieved a positive rating it annoyed me to say the least the ending was terrible and it was like reading about some boring story where people have to be rescued by experts because they went out into dangerous conditions against professional advice which happens quite a lot in real life it was a poor and pointless film worse than a poor TV movie do not watch or you will be annoyed at the terrible and sad ending
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If this was a comedy it would be worth a 10
This film was so bad that I just feel compelled to leave a revue. All the fake reviews from people whose home is Canada (coincidentally where the film was shot) giving it a 10 are so obvious. Read the 'real' reviews before you watch this pile of garbage. By three-quarters of the way through, I was laughing so much, I was convinced that it had been misrepresented as a thriller and that it was actually a comedy. The acting was so bad and the storyline so unbelievable that I just had to keep watching, even though I nearly gave up on it before it was halfway through. For those fellow English viewers of a certain age, you will have to ask yourself why Mrs. Overall was staggering through the woods at one stage. Thank you,directors and producers, for the funniest comedy I have seen in ages.
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lacornfield-880-83680328 December 2015
Two frostbitten thumbs-up for this Canadian survival thriller. The themes of trust and greed play out in a forbidding Canadian wilderness. Alliances between the four main characters shift throughout the story as they pursue buried treasure. Each actor delivers a compelling, nuanced performance as each is worn down by fatigue, emotion, and the frozen wilderness.

From the opening sequence to the final scene, the audience is kept in the story with a beautiful score and realistic details of survival in the frozen landscape.

I hope suspense movie lovers everywhere will be able to see this Canadian gem.
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nick-4640310 November 2015
A supremely well-crafted film in which the director gives the actors time to shine. It was a pleasure to see a small ensemble really get inside their respective characters and make them real. The film was perfectly paced to show the progressive deterioration of the characters' moral compasses as their greed and the unrelenting cold affected their decision-making abilities. The cinematography was excellent and the score enhanced the story without being obtrusive. The film's production values, including the winter scenery, the clothing, and the cold weather make-up effects, were expertly done: not a stray note anywhere. Unlike some recent big-budget efforts (The Grey for example), Numb is entirely believable, and made a gripping movie experience. Highly recommended.
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kluseba30 April 2018
Well, at least some of the landscapes were beautiful.

To be honest, Numb had few more things going for it than gorgeous Canadian landscapes. The film had an appropriately cold and sinister atmosphere. Numb doesn't overstay its welcome with a running time around ninety minutes. The initial story sounded interesting enough to spend five bucks on it.

Numb is about an indebted couple that comes across two hitchhikers, a former prisoner and his prostitute sister. The four come across a man suffering of hypothermia who dies when they try to rescue him in the middle of the night. They find out that he was the only survivor of a group of thieves who robbed four million dollars in gold coins twenty years ago. They retrieve a piece of paper with some GPS data among the dead man's belongings and assume that this must be the spot where the thieves hid the money twenty years ago. The four decide to go out in the woods despite harsh weather conditions to get the money and start new lives. However, conflicts soon occur as the weather gets worse by the hour.

The premise of the movie sounds good but everything described above is initially the whole story. One never gets to know where the former prisoner and the prostitute actually came from and why they were aimlessly walking outside in the cold weather in the beginning of the story. The reasons why the thief decided to get the money in the middle of winter just after being released from prison after twenty years instead of waiting for the summer are never explained. The fact that the four treasure hunters go out in the woods without gloves, snowshoes, toques or any other kind of equipment to survive in the harsh winter doesn't make any sense at all either. The reasons why they start turning against one another are shallow as well. A random side character who is living in a cabin is introduced out of nowhere and soon killed for very shallow reasons. Even the movie's resolution with the police officer doesn't make any sense at all if you think about it for a second. Overall, the entire script is poorly written. If you expect any explanations, suspense or twists, you are going to be disappointed.

The acting is just as wooden as the faceless characters for whose fates the viewers don't care because it's impossible to empathize with them: a lying husband, his egoistic wife, a philosophic prisoner and a greedy prostitute with anger management issues.

Camera and light techniques are average, the film's pace is quite dragging and even the soundtrack is somewhat sleep-inducing.

At the end of the day, my rating for the film is generous and if I didn't like Canadian winter, I would even give this film a lower rating. This average thriller wastes much initially intriguing potential. You can watch this on a snowy afternoon if you have one and a half hours of free time. Don't spend too much money on it. There are numerous movies set in harsh winter weather conditions like The Grey that are so much better than this Canadian independent film.
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This movie has a twisted plot; not what you think! Enjoyable, and no sex scenes.
k_wang-628711 April 2019
Very entertaining, clean movie (no sex scenes). A little violence. I don't know why this is Rated R.
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Going For Gold
jimbo-53-18651110 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Cash-strapped husband and wife Will and Dawn stumble upon a pair of mysterious hitchhikers and end up picking up another passenger along the way (a man suffering from extreme hypothermia). The man with hypothermia dies , Will, Dawn and the hitchhikers discover that the man is carrying co-ordinates which allegedly relate to some missing gold stolen from various banks. The 4 of them decide to team up and try to find the gold, but will they all be able to survive the extremely cold temperatures?

As a survival thriller, Numb is perfectly functional; characters go from A to B, they argue, then they try to work together, one person assumes command and acts as the voice of reason only for everyone to go against that person's advice/decision and to top it all off we have our token lunatic living alone out in the middle of the sticks (well there has to be one in every film doesn't there). Although these may seem like criticisms (and to a certain extent they are) these things do drive the film forward and at the very least ensure that the film is never boring. However...

It also means that Numb is far from being a brilliant film and I think what lets it down slightly is the script. The whole thing is predictable from start to finish and the script also offers no room for development (the mysterious hitchhikers remain mysterious and we learn next to nothing about them - the only thing I got was that one or possibly both of them were in prison). This also extends to the wife and husband who were equally uninteresting. The predictable narrative I could handle if the film was more intense, dramatic or exciting, but aside from the moment where the wife nearly falls off the cliff it just wasn't really like this. The sad thing is that there were definitely ways that this could have been more exciting; what about the GPS failing due to bad weather and have them abandon the search for the gold and try to find their way back to the car? Or have the loner in the remote cabin trying to pick them off one by one while they're trying to find the gold or perhaps a combination of the two? Like I say by playing the whole thing out safe and with by-the-numbers precision it just meant that the script was a bit lacking in certain areas - although I did like the scene where they put forest leaves and branches under their shoes to act as snow shoes.

Having said that the cast all do a decent enough job and sell the film as best as they can; although them all being unlikeable and rather selfish is a little bit off-putting truth be told. The bleak and remote setting is captured fairly well and the cinematography is also good.

Numb's script is the make or break aspect here and acts as both a blessing and a curse; the film is short and sweet with 85 minutes passing by fairly painlessly and to its credit the film is never boring. However, it's the lack of spark within the narrative that holds it back and whilst it isn't boring it's hardly an edge-of-your seat thrill ride either. It gets the job done, but it perhaps isn't as good as it could have been.
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See this one on the big screen!
karinbj2 December 2015
This is a suspenseful exploration of the heart's longing for security and the risks one will consider running in order to achieve it. A beautiful score, cinematography and visual effects contribute to Jason Goode's deft touch on the storytelling. As each relationship is unveiled, the power dynamics between the four characters weave back and forth. In the most intriguing way alliances are formed and broken. Kudos for edge-of-the-seat moments that feature Jamie Bamber's sheer physicality, Colin Cunningham's electrifying presence and the frozen silence of the Canadian winter. A satisfying conclusion after an absolutely gripping scene by Aleks Paunovic and Marie Avgeropoulos had me thinking about this film for days afterwards.
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Watch this film!
JakeBergen7 December 2015
Watching this film was a fantastic experience! Everything about it was completely on-point... acting, dialogue, cinematography, makeup, colour, score... everything!

My wife and I were both taken by surprise, there was one moment we both jumped in our seats we were so engrossed in the film. We looked at each other with big smiles... I love those moments!

I don't want to give anything away, so watch this film and be prepared for an exceptionally believable experience that will transport you to a bitterly cold wilderness and keep you thinking about human nature, consequences and the lies we tell ourselves to justify our actions. I highly recommend this film.
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Well done!!
rlkochfam7 November 2015
With some strong characters, amazing score, beautiful scenery, and enough suspense to keep me on edge, this film was well worth waiting for!

With weather being a character in itself, it was great to see the realistic way that the actors were impacted by the cold. The make-up was amazing and allowed me to stay in the story and not question if it was actually cold.

The pace seemed good with some well-timed suspenseful moments that kept me wondering where the story was going.

I hope that many audiences get to see this film!
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great drama and suspense
yoyojl18 March 2016
Really enjoyed the opportunity to go see NUMB in the theatre! I liked the movie - it reminded me of A Perfect Getaway a little...very different setting obviously...Hawaii vs the frozen land of Canada! Numb is about more than just cold temperatures though, it is about people. The characters are great and their intriguing story keeps you interested until the end. Well done, especially for a lower budget film. It is a great dramatic production and terrific acting throughout. I almost hope the writer comes through with another one, because there is definitely more... I'd like to know what happens next...but I can't elaborate on that because the suspense of how it will all end is what keeps you glued to the screen till the credits roll. Also, the music is simple, yet perfectly suited. All around, this is a movie worth watching.
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numb for numpties!
jakyoung9 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Probably one of the most ridiculous films i have seen in a while.The acting was at best poor ,the plot not well thought out. One of the characters supposedly had a knowledge of the outdoors and yet when faced with freezing to death proceeded to build what looked like 2 snow holes with bare hands and sticks (amazing),and informed his wife to light a candle,yes light a candle in the snow hole not maybe try and start a fire with the wood that was all around ,branches etc could have been used as kindling but no ,no attempt. Very badly thought out and written.
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Exciting wilderness thriller
Tiffany-sharp8327 April 2019
My favorite genre is survival wilderness thrillers. I don't come across good ones very often. Numb was one of the good ones. It ended up being nothing like what I thought it was going to be. Overall, a good watch
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Not too bad.
magicbymiketurner21 April 2019
It's not as bad as some would have you to believe. Beautiful scenery, acting is fair. It's worth the watch if it's free.
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catgrrl80913 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Two of the four have warm winter coats with hoods..... but don't even pull them up ? 🙄
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great movie
peterlagrand11 March 2016
This is a great movie - well done in every way. It has parallels in Milton's writing. The movie is a sort of morality play with complex (and frightening) characters. Watch it to see everyday human pressures creates situations in which people are forced to act out what they believe. The characters also get to a place where they are discovering what they believe as they act it out. The first time I watched it the film felt very dark, the second time I was able to engage with it more. It is the sort of movie that, by the end, I wanted to know more about the characters rather than less—this I take as a good sign. I would love to see the makes of this movie come out with another movie that centers around heat and passion now that they have told the story of cold. I enjoyed this movie a lot, especially the camera work and the direction.
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Fantastic film and outstanding cinematography
MarianneJM2 March 2016
A gripping tale of desperation and greed leading to one terrible decision after another. Wonderful performances all around, esp from the always great Aleks Paunovic and Jamie Bamber. Colin Cunningham was terrifyingly creepy.

The film reminded me a lot of the terrific 1998 movie A SIMPLE PLAN, following the consequences of a sudden fateful decision made by ordinary people.

Jason Goode's directorial choices made for a tight script, and the cinematography in the wilds of central BC was gorgeous. I came out mainly to support local filmmakers but I'm so glad I did. Try to see if you can!
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