Sunday 16 October 2011

Today's Review: Retreat

Yes, this week I actually got round to watching some movies that I'd never heard of before. At risk of them being awful, of course, but this week's offerings didn't look too bad, especially Retreat.
Martin and Kate (Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton) are a married couple trying to get over a recent tragedy. Together they take a trip to a remote island in order to rekindle their relationship. A few days in, however, an injured man stumbles towards their cottage from the shore. His name is Jack (Jamie Bell), and he claims that he is a member of the military, and that there has been an outbreak of a new strain of flu on the mainland that is ravaging the population. As he boards up the cottage, the three are left with no contact with the outside world, and Martin and Kate must decide whether to trust what this stranger is saying...

Retreat is pretty excellently done. Aside from a couple of tiny parts, these three are the only people in the movie, and it's only set on the island itself. It's a great small ensemble cast, and everyone gives it their all. As the characters' attitudes change and the suspicions start to kick in, I was really taken along for the ride. Attitudes do change at quite a rate, however, and all of the characters end up being a little too erratic, but the parts are never really played too over the top.

Retreat is a thriller not so much in the sense of there being several twists and turns, but more that there is always an air of suspicion, and you can never tell whether Jack is being completely honest with the couple. The tension builds up very nicely, and the final scenes bring the whole story together, offering more surprises when you're sure that you know everything that's going on. 

For a movie with three actors shot in a cottage, I was surprisingly captivated. Granted, this movie doesn't quite pack the punch of a large budget thriller, there is only so much they could have done with the location and cast. Despite this though, Retreat certainly is a solid movie. There has been a real lack of good thrillers lately, but the plunge I took into this unknown movie was well worth it.

My rating: 4/5

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