On face value this slow burn of a movie from Director Amelia Moses feature length debut can feel like it’s happy to flow along without much pace or kick to its narrative. But as it shambles its way pulling you into a false sense of lull, it gradually reveals more to its outward exterior with a few jolts out of the comfort blue.
Our protagonist Rowan (Lee Marshall) appears to be a lost and vulnerable soul, who welcomes the friendship and support from Emily (Lauren Beatty – Jigsaw) and her partner, Brendan (Aris Tiros – Slaxx), but like the movie itself, none of these characters should be judged by appearance and harbour secrets that run deep.
We join the trio at the start of a winter retreat in a log cabin far from any other human contact. As the story unfolds and the wine continues to pour, the emotional instability begins to show.
Rowan and Emily are drawn to one another with whispers of a traumatic past connecting them through some harboured common understanding of the pain that they have both had to endure. Rowan clearly doubts her sanity however and begins to suspect that her Florence Nightingale saviour, Emily may actually be drugging her. Is this another sign of her losing her way, or is there something more sinister at play? Rowan continues to doubt all about her, but is trapped between trusting her judgement and allowing herself to fall at the mercy of the one person who is giving her the love and attention that she so craves. It’s an intimate and finely balanced episode that gently rests between serenity and despair.
Moses manages to craft a lot of ambience and emotion from the remote setting and the minimal cast, that despite some flaws in substance, there is enough flair and intrigue involved to warrant intrigue into her next directorial venture, which looks to reunite her with Beatty once again in Bloodthirsty.
A little slow but a nice balance of psychological interplay between two women suffering from traumatic episodes in their lives.
Director Amelia Moses crafts an intricate tale that constantly questions the real state of affairs and what are ripples of past suffering.
- Saul Muerte