The Strange Ones A Camping Trip Is Not What It Seems In A Psychological Suspense Drama Starring (2019)
With their first feature the ambitious and exceptionally well crafted the strange ones directors christopher radcliff and lauren wolkstein demonstrate an underiable mastery of mood. The atmosphere of disquiet that they drum up casts a spell, without question but one that serves the story only to a point. However nuanced and artful the nightmarish unease is laid on so thick that in combination with the cryptic narrative it gradually turns to murk.
The movie expressionistic exploration of trauma and identity centers on a teen boy who either a runaway or an abductee and whose traveling companion might or might not be his older brother. come will be intrigued by the head trip mystery others irritated by the drama pile up of feints and elisons. The indie will follow its oscar qualifying run with a Dec. 7 bow on directTV and is scheduled for an early 2018 theatrical release when its inclusion on john waters top 10 list for 2017 could boost box office.
Expanding the directors 2011 short movie of the same name radcliff screenplay essentially splits the story into two halves. The first revolves around a road trip the second more elliptical section deals with its repercussions. A sense of dread and emergency domination from the get go drawing the viewer in but also setting a baseline that ultimately defuses the movies intended jolts.
At the whell of the station wagon is a scruffy intense twentysomthing alex pettyfer. Riding shotgun when he not sleeping in the backseat is a shell shocked teen sam james freedson jackson of cop car. In the rearview mirror is a fatal house fire. When the boy introduces himself to stangers as jermiah the lie is obvious. Just as blatantly false is the duo’s assertion that they are brothers heading to the woods for a leisurely camping trip. Though the exact nature of their relationship isnt clear for much of the story the idea that something is very very off is all but spelled out in neon.
As the movie shifts time and place filtered through sam perspective freedson jackson shifts from vulnerable to shockingly precocious and back again to a childish naivete. His largely flat affect performance which received a special jury citation at SXSW is unsetting a combination of astutely played moments merely blank ones and an excess of close ups.