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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/03/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Enjoyably intense, smartly directed thriller with strong performances from its three leads and some impressive location work.

What's it all about?
Rising British star Shaun Evans (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Paul Nicholas) plays Alex, a Scouser who travels to Australia in order to meet up with his girlfriend Sophie (Amelia Warner). On his first night in Sydney, Alex is befriended by a friendly American named Taylor (Scott Mechlowicz from Mean Creek), who takes him on a boozy night out and then offers him a lift to meet Sophie the next day.

However, after Taylor suggests that the three of them drive across the Outback together, Alex becomes more and more suspicious of Taylor's intentions towards Sophie. But is it all in his head or is Taylor really up to something?

The Good
First time director Ringan Ledwidge creates an impressive atmosphere of slow-burning tension throughout. In addition, the script adds intriguing layers of guilt (Taylor has a Polaroid of Alex in the arms of another girl) and doubt, keeping you guessing as to whether Taylor is genuinely dangerous or just a lonely guy trying to make connections.

Mechlowicz is superb as Taylor, managing to generate a surprising amount of sympathy for what could easily have been a common or garden psycho role. Evans is good too, particularly when the cracks in his easygoing persona start to show, whilst Warner shines in a relatively underwritten role that requires her to be a little too credulous at times.

The Great
Ledwidge makes superb use of his authentic locations, heightening the tension by emphasising the isolation of the characters. In addition, the film delivers on its 80 minutes of claustrophobic tension and build-up by pulling out a genuinely exciting climax, even if the characters have to behave in unbelievable ways in order to get there.

Worth seeing?
This is an enjoyable thriller that would make a great Don't-go-backpacking-in-Australia double-bill with last year's Wolf Creek. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 27/02/2020 10:45

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