Retreat 2011 ★★★

“No. There is no vaccine for this!”
-Jack Coleman (Jamie Bell)

A grieving couple, Kate (Newton) and Martin (Murphy) head to an unpopulated island retreat after the miscarriage of their baby. Their attempts to reconcile their damaged relationship is jeopardised when a private of the British Army is washed up, with news of an airborne virus sweeping through Europe.

Contrary to a lot of the critics, I didn’t think this was a bad film at all. As a feature debut, it’s a nice effort, with director Tibbetts showing a real knack for film-making. Although it doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the table and the plot is largely flawed, the director shows enough aptitude to in building atmosphere and keeping the audience guessing till the end.

The cast involved are excellent, as required in such a character-driven film (there are only three characters, plus one minor speaking part). Cillian Murphy is brilliant (Isn’t he always?), whilst Jamie Bell has come a long way from Billy Elliot. Even Thandie Newton more than holds her own. The cinematography is good with some beautiful Welsh scenery, whilst the script manages to be fairly believable. The tension is tangible, and you’re never quite sure whether the claims of disillusioned soldier Jack are true or means for his own agendas. It’s an enjoyable watch, notably because of its ambiguity throughout.

VERDICT; With its slow burning pace and distinct lack of any action, this won’t be for everyone. However, it twists and turns enough to hold your interest, and there is some stellar acting on display. I would recommend giving it a watch.
3/5 or 6/10

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