THE STRANGE ONES (2018)


 Greetings again from the darkness. Having been well received at film festivals throughout 2017, this film is journey of patience for both the characters and its viewers. Co-directors Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein have expanded their 2011 short film into their first feature length film, and though some evidence of ‘stretching’ is present, so is a somber, moody style that provides an interesting look and feel.

It’s more mysterious and atmospheric than it is thriller, and at times it even has a “Twilight Zone” vibe. Nick (Alex Pettyfer) and Sam (James Freedson-Jackson) are traveling together as brothers, though we never really believe they are related. An impending dread hovers around each move they make, and the film tortures/teases us with unspecified relationships and connections. Nick and Sam are semi-desperate and clearly on the run, yet it’s not until the end when things somewhat come together.

Young Freedson-Jackson is the key to the film, and his facial reactions are critical. His astounding blank stares seem to hold meaning. It’s a bleak film with a gloomy tone, and while I’m all for slow and deliberate story-telling, the technique is usually more effective when there is a reason for it. This is a deep cut indie that lacks mass appeal, but for those patient enough to commit, the supernatural aura will likely keep you engaged for the run time.

watch the trailer:

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