|ESTRANGED (director: Adam Levins; screenwriters: story by William Borthwick & Simon Fantauzzo/Simon Fantauzzo; cinematographer: Gary Shaw; editor: Ben King; music: Brian Crosby; cast: Craig Conway (Thomas), James Cosmo (Albert), Bob Duff (Lord Dunfield), Joy Sanders (Lady Dunfield), Eileen Nicholas (Marilyn), Simon Fantauzzo (Callum), Nora-Jane Noone (Kathrine), James Lance (Laurence), Amy Manson (January); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Alexis Varouxakis/William Borthwick; Vicarious Entertainment; 2015-UK)|
|"A well-delivered dark thriller
helmed by first-timer Adam Levins."
by Dennis Schwartz
A well-delivered dark thriller helmed by first-timer Adam Levins. It's based on a story by William Borthwick & Simon Fantauzzo.
January (Amy Manson), the
young English woman, travels in South America, she's
involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident
which leaves her temporarily wheel-chair bound with a
serious brain injury that should heal and a case
of amnesia that might not. Her
concerned boyfriend, Callum (Simon Quarterman,
co-writer and co-producer), escorts her
back home to her estranged family's remote, gated,
country estate in the UK. January has
not seen them the last six years, and has no
recollection of either them or her boyfriend.
gun collecting sinister dad is possessive (James
Cosmo), while mom is a weakling who is apologetic (Eileen
Nicholas). The old-fashioned very
stiff parents abide by outdated rules (in this house
there's no Internet, mobiles, TV, radios and land
phones). Meanwhile her emotionally weak sister (Nora-Jane
Noone) can't find a way to relate
to her, while her crude brother (James Lance) tries to
get her to give him a blow job. His action gets her to
start remembering why she left home and why she must
again leave. As her memory improves, she feels
increasingly trapped alone in a bad situation. Even
though cut off from the real world, January becomes
more determined to escape from this prison. She also
has an other world experience, that helps her see why
she must find a way to escape before it's too late.
turns into a creepy film, once it gets going, as it
builds up the peril angle in this haunting
damsel-in-distress narrative. It relies on a great
performance by Manson and a fine ensemble cast to be
convincingly scary. Though, when we finally learn the
dark secrets, it all seems cloudy and if thoroughly
examined the contrived tale wouldn't hold up to
further scrutiny. But it catches your attention and is
entertaining, and works splendidly if you decide not
to be too critical.
REVIEWED ON 3/7/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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