Written by Kris Maric
John Jarratt (best known as Mick from the Wolf Creek films) brings us this small Aussie independent film that is now available to stream online. It is a simple film, but it is also one that subverts the norms of ‘stalker’ type movies. It does this at the very beginning – Jack is watching Emily from the bushes as she smokes outside a window. When she closes the window, he springs into action, black duffel bag in one hand, as he sneaks into the house. Problem is, she is expecting him, and promptly knocks him out and ties him to a chair.
Most of the film takes place at her dining table, where Jack sits tied up and Emily teases him, as the film becomes a great game of cat and mouse. There no clues as to who will come out on top, keeping the viewer guessing. Further revelations about the two bring not only depth to their characters, but they also turn the film on its head, many times. It is certainly hard to know where this is going next, especially with the engaging dialogue its perverse sense of humour.
Two people sitting at a dinner table for an entire film might not sound like fun, but the two engage in interesting conversations about gender politics, sex, stalking, amongst other things. There is a definite black comic edge to this, as Jack says at one point “you bloody women are all the same!”, but Emily’s responses to his sexist remarks are not what you’d expect. This woman is no pushover. She may be a nurse, but that doesn’t make her helpless.
The fact that she is a nurse adds another layer to this film, as while she is holding this man hostage, she is polite and retains her bedside manner, despite having just had this man break into her house. Her being a nurse brings other advantages to the table, but I won’t go any further into that, only to say that her behaviour and dialogue is extremely unique for a female character in a movie of this nature.
Being a low-budget film, yes, some of the acting is a little over the top, and some of the dialogue is not as sharply written as it could have been, but given how little this film was financed, the crew have done a great job in managing the funds to create a neat, tightly-edited dark comedy, with tinges of horror and mystery. It is an intriguing blend of genres, and it is certainly a unique film.
There isn’t much more to add about this relatively simple flick, other than recommending that you see this when you can! It is a fantastic black comedy made on a tiny budget (after all, it is an Australian film) and with a runtime just under 90 minutes, it certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome. The ending was a little strange, but that just gives me another reason to watch this again. Funny and thought-provoking, this low-budget indie is well worth your time.
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