More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “Sun Don’t Shine,” an acclaimed indie about a couple road-tripping through Florida — not an adaptation of that “Twilight Zone” episode where the Earth starts moving away from the sun.
Director: Amy Seimetz
Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, AJ Bowen
Criticwire Average: A- (22 critics)
Official Synopsis: “Written and directed by actress/filmmaker Amy Seimetz (‘Tiny Furniture,’ ‘Upstream Color’ and ‘Pit Stop’), ‘Sun Don’t Shine’ follows Crystal (Sheil) and her boyfriend Leo (Audley) on a tense and mysterious road trip through the desolate yet hauntingly beautiful landscape of central Florida. From the outset, the purpose of their journey is unclear, and the motivations behind their heated altercations and shady errands are hazy, but sporadic moments of tenderness illuminate the loving bond between the two that exists underneath their overt tensions. As the couple travels up the Gulf Coast past an endless panorama of mangrove fields, trailer parks, and cookie-cutter housing developments, the disturbing details of their excursion gradually begin to emerge, revealing Crystal’s sinister past and the couple’s troubling future. Filmed on location in the environs of Seimetz’s hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, ‘Sun Don’t Shine’ is a subtly cryptic story driven by the powerful performances of its lead actors and its eerily poetic setting.”
“A dreamily compelling lovers-on-the-lam movie.”
“[Seimetz’s] richly textured debut is assured in every choice, from first frame to last.”
“Sheil devolves into a terrifying figure, barely capable of forcing words out of her clenched jaw as she shrieks and groans in betrayed fury.”
“Few 2013 films will use setting as effectively.”
“There’s a fine line between slow-burn deliberation and simply being slack.”
“Sun Don’t Shine” is now playing in limited release, and on VOD and digital.