Radius (Movie Review)

Radius (Movie Review)
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PLOT: When a man wakes up from a car crash, he comes to the nightmarish realization that everyone that gets in a 50-foot radius of him will die. Everyone that is, except one woman who survived the same accident.

REVIEW: There is something special about stepping into a film completely fresh, and having it really inspire and excite you. In fact, it is rare that I don’t have a least a little knowledge going into a movie before I view it. This happened with the independent science fiction thriller RADIUS, a little movie with only three major characters. This fascinating flick is especially well shot, and it leads the viewer down a Twilight Zone-esque tale that is unpredictable and hauntingly original. Co-directed and written by Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard, the two have crafted a hypnotic and suspenseful story on a limited budget with an assured vision.

radius diego klattenhoff charlotte sullivan caroline labreche steeve leonard science fiction

Liam (The Blacklist star, Diego Klattenhoff) wakes up in the dead of night from what appears to be a terrible accident. With no recollection of his own name and life that came before, he wanders away from the wreckage in the hopes of finding help. Yet all he sees is death. Every single person and animal appears to have died. Frightened that there may be something in the air, he is even more horrified when he finds that everything is dying when they come into close contact with him. That is until he meets another apparent surviver (Charlotte Sullivan), also unaware of who she is. The only difference, she can get close to him while others cannot.

There are many reasons why this film works. Let’s start with the script. Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard have given sci-fi fans something really special with RADIUS. The script delves into a situation that could have been ridiculous and absurd. Instead, we have a story that reveals the answers in a smart and unpredictable fashion. The layers of Liam’s situation are revealed nicely. And yes, the screenwriting and directing duo manage to bring a real sense of urgency to RADIUS. Why every living thing takes its last breathe near Liam is a wonderful concept, and they do well with it. While there are a few moments where the script feels a bit convenient, it makes up for it on nearly every other level.

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Diego Klattenhoff has one of the hardest jobs here, he has to carry the entire film and gain the audience's trust. The actor is certainly up for the challenge. While it is not an especially demanding role, there are several layers that unravel as Liam gets closer to the truth. While one twist that happens near the end of film feels a bit ridiculous, Klattenhoff and Sullivan are able to pull it off thanks to their grounded performances and the two actors work well together. Sullivan is especially terrific as a woman unsure of her life before, as well as of this strange man and his horrific situation. And while Nazariy Demkowicz has the smallest of the three main roles, he is quite good as a Sullivan’s husband and plays an important part setting the final half hour in motion.

Sometimes science fiction works especially well when it is used as a subtle component of the film in question. This is certainly the case here aside from one integral and effects driven scene. All of the material is handled especially well by the filmmakers. From the opening sequence where we find Liam waking up from the wreck, the look of the film pulls you in. Along with cinematographer Simon Villeneuve, Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard utilize a few beautiful locations to make this look much larger in scope than the budget may have allowed. This is creative filmmaking here.

radius diego klattenhoff charlotte sullivan caroline labreche steeve leonard science fiction 2017

RADIUS is a fascinating concept and it is one of the best science fiction surprises of the year. Diego Klattenhoff, Charlotte Sullivan and Nazariy Demkowicz have a great script to work with, and they bring the material to a very honest level. Strangely, my only minor complaint is that one plot twist felt almost absurd when revealed. However, where this ultimately leads the characters pulled me immediately back in. In a time when we have so many great genre choices, I’m happy to say that RADIUS is yet another example of how to do it right.

Extra Tidbit: Radius is currently available on VOD and all streaming services.
Source: AITH



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