For his debut feature film, the psychological virus thriller “Retreat,” writer/director Carl Tibbetts gets a pretty solid dream team cast in Cillian Murphy, Thandie Newton and Jamie Bell. And while the new U.K. trailer unveiled by Empire might look promising, unfortunately the story is more intent on throwing twists at the audience rather than settling down and actually developing its intriguing premise.
Essentially a single setting film, the plot follows a couple (Murphy and Newton) who decide to vacation together on a remote island, where they’ve spent happier times, to try and repair their crumbling relationship. That’s the plan anyway, until a crazed Bell shows up claiming to be a solider and warning them that a virus is spreading around the world, and that they need to barricade themselves indoors if they want to stay alive. Is he crazy, dangerous or delusional? He may be a mix of all three, and what emerges is a movie that can’t free itself from an endless series of twists. We caught the film at Fantasia earlier this year and noted that “as a virus thriller we’re never quite sure if it’s real or how horrific the damage can be if infection sets in, as a psycho-sexual potboiler the story doesn’t get heated enough, and as an exercise in paranoia Tibbetts can only find a few notes and tones and then he hammers them incessantly to increasingly lessening impact.” Indeed a lot of things happen in this movie to little effect.
“Retreat” opens in the U.K. on October 14th; no U.S. release or distributor is yet in sight. Check out the trailer and a bunch of pics below.