Andrew Semans’ deliciously unhinged thriller stars Rebecca Hall as a single mom with a dark secret that threatens to overwhelm her cosy corporate lifestyle.
|Aug 06|| |
A virtuoso and nuanced performance from the always-fearless Rebecca Hall as Margaret lays the foundation for this Repulsion-esque exercise in unease and dread. Hall, a solo mum, is always in corporate beast-mode; whether in the office, or in the bedroom, she is the ruling alpha. That is until David, her ex from a long-ago and traumatic acrimonious ending, slinks back into town. His stalking presence begins to fracture her ‘perfect’ world.
David, as played by the always on-point Tim Roth, appears innocuously enough in the periphery exuding nonchalance, that is until director Andrew Semans beguiles us via Margaret’s point-of-view, giving David an unexplained demonic aura. When Margaret’s quasi-bonkers version of why she escaped David’s clutches is at total odds with David’s more moderate explanation, we waver between believing her histrionics or supporting his possible gaslighting in full effect. When David promises her access to a son we never even knew existed, events take a turn for the worse.
At first, all of this seems a standard tale of stress and stalking cloaked in a stylish arthouse veneer – but like some disturbed metronome maker, Semans starts to tweak and tune the rhythms of our anxiety until it becomes unbearable. – Ant Timpson