Radius (Theaters-2018; Streaming-2017) Rated: NR Runtime: 87-93 minutes
Genre: Fantasy-Mystery-Science Fiction-Suspense-Thriller
els – 6.0/10
IMDb – 6.2/10
Amazon – 3.7/5 stars
Rotten Tomatoes Critics – 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience – 3.5/5
Metacritic Metascore – NA/100
Metacritic User Score – NA/10
Directed by: Caroline Labrèche, Steeve Léonard
Written by: Caroline Labrèche, Steeve Léonard
Music by: Benoît Charest
Cast: Diego Klattenhoff, Charlotte Sullivan
Film Location: Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada
The mystery begins as Liam (Klattenhoff) wakes up in a confused state, lying next to an overturned car. As he stumbles away from the car and walks down a lonely road, an approaching car slows, possibly to pick him up, but instead, appears to try to run him over in slow motion. Liam sidesteps the car, and it coasts off the road and comes to a stop in the ditch. In a what-the moment, Liam approaches the car, opens the driver’s door, and finds the occupant dead. Upon calling 911, or whatever the Canadian equivalent is, the operator asks for Liam’s name; stumped by the question he resorts to looking at his driver’s license for the answer. Liam remembers nothing, who he is, what he is, where he is; his existence started at the point of regaining consciousness at the crash site. The dead driver scene repeats in various forms; people, birds, any living mammal that approach him, or vice versa, dies. With the bodies piling up, he ultimately realizes that it isn’t a pathogen killing everyone; its him: get too close to Liam, a radius of a few tens of feet, and you die: instantly. Jane (Sullivan), a passenger in Liam’s car at the time of the crash, but unknown to Liam when he woke up at the crash site, tracks Liam down and they discover that his radius of death is inoperative when she is near. Her yin to his yang.
A set of moral dilemmas are introduced with a semi-transparent brush that are easily resolved, but not very satisfying, at least not from an emotional perspective. Are you responsible for a past life that you can not remember? Are you responsible for a life that your are fully cognizant of, but unable to control? Jane answers no to both queries. Liam answers yes, at least to the latter. The movie leaves you to decide his answer to the former.
This is Labreche and Leonard’s second low-budget movie they have directed together. Their first movie they directed, Sans Dessein (Without Design), was filmed in Montreal for $15,000 Canadian, and released in French in 2009. The movie received above average reviews from critics and viewers (IMDb 7.0/10).
In Radius the movie production is very good, for a low-budget film, and has met with similar reviews as Sans Dessein. I suspect their efforts in this movie, as writers and directors, will get them noticed by folks with deeper pockets in the near future.
An original story and script, with mostly good acting, certainly not bad. The directors set a pace that’s a tad slow, resulting in the viewer leaping ahead of the story, which in this case, is not necessarily bad. An entertaining flick with a unsatisfying, but necessary ending. Hitchcock may not have approved but he would have understood.