This brutal and lurid melodrama about a charismatic small town psycho who falls for a high-class beauty marks the debut of a director who aims to put the "hurt" back into the stagnant thriller genre.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
This brutal and lurid melodrama marks the debut of Chris Sivertson, a director with a vision to bring the ‘hurt’ back into the stagnant thriller genre. His film, based on a novel by Jack Ketchum, features a more compelling and complex sociopath than any seen since Martin Sheen strutted his stuff in Badlands. Ray Pye is a charismatic small town psycho who works at his mom’s Bates-like motel. He’s the Pied Piper of Loserville, with naïve friends like Tim and Jen, who live in fear and awe of him, especially after he senselessly kills two young women, and easily intimidates them into helping him cover up the killings. Four years later Ray’s lifestyle is unbalanced by the appearance of high-class beauty Katherine. Suddenly the dominator becomes surprisingly submissive and the film switches gears into a macabre romantic tragedy. Warning: the unrelenting no-holds-barred finale shows complete disrespect for genre conventions and is devastatingly effective in the way it puts the sting back into the horror of on-screen death, without a wink of irony.