In spite of the Coronavirus and the fact that I’m at home more than out nowadays, its tough to carve out the free time to watch films and, frankly, it frustrates me to no end having so many other things to do and not have that free time for myself.
Now and again I’ll go over the “sales” over on VUDU and check out which films I can get digitally for very low prices. I suppose its the digital/web equivalent of searching through the $5 bins of DVDs from yesteryear.
Anyway, a week or two ago I spotted the film Radius (2017) among those on sale and I had never heard of it.
However, VUDU is clever in that when you hover your pointer over any movie you see its ratings and Radius, I saw when my pointer was over it, had a very high 93% positive rating.
That, along with the bargain basement price it was available at and its intriguing premise, were enough to make me purchase the film.
Here’s Radius’ trailer:
So intrigued I was with the film’s positive rating and some of the critical reactions I read about it that I made myself some time to *gasp* actually sit down and watch it yesterday, which I did.
And I must say, I’m very impressed.
To begin, Radius is an extremely low budget film. I say this without the intention of being snarky or demeaning, but the film features a car crash -an element central to the movie’s plot- and the folks who made the film couldn’t show us said car crash and instead had to use camera tricks to simulate a crash happening by showing the car’s passengers reactions.
This is not a bad thing, mind you, only that I point this out because if there are any glaring faults I found in this film, they are a result of the film’s very low budget.
The plot, as much as I’m willing to reveal, involves Liam (Diego Klattenhoff, perhaps best known nowadays for his role in the long running TV show The Blacklist) awakening from a car crash. He’s bloodied and confused and finds himself in a very rural area.
He is all alone and walks down the road, following signs to a small (very small!) town and shortly before arriving there a car drives near him, he waves it down, and the car moves to stop for him… but goes on, very slowly, nearly running him down before its momentum is stopped.
Liam, unsure what is happening, approaches the car and finds the female driver within is dead and her eyes are a milky white.
What follows is the mystery of what is happening around Liam and, eventually, how he comes to know another person, Jane (Charlotte Sullivan), who we will find is also intricately involved in the mystery surrounding Liam.
If you noticed -and I don’t see how you couldn’t!- I’m not giving away many details at all.
This is a unique film whose story -and the many mysteries surrounding it- unfolds in an extremely satisfying manner. You think you have a grasp of what’s going on only to get another piece of the puzzle which takes you in another direction, then another, then another.
It all leads up to a shattering climax which reveals everything, and makes you re-examine everything as well.
This is not a perfect film and I suspect it would have benefitted from a little more budget, though not necessarily so they could show the initial car crash. I feel like the movie’s climax could have used a little more *umph*, that they were a little more restrained than they needed to be.
But these are incredibly small quibbles for what is truly a miracle of sorts: An extremely low budget film that presents a rock solid script filled with unfolding mysteries that not only keep your attention but truly take you on a trip into the unknown.