Kate and Martin escape from personal tragedy to an Island Retreat. Cut off from the outside world, their attempts to recover are shattered when a Man is washed ashore, with news of airborne killer disease that is sweeping through Europe.
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In a last-ditch attempt to save their failing marriage after the stillbirth of their first child, Kate, a journalist, and Martin, an architect, escape London for a retreat to the beautiful, yet remote and unpopulated Blackholme Island, which is off the west coast of Scotland. Fairweather Cottage is a place where they once shared a romantic holiday and the island holds fond memories of happier times. Kate and Martin arrive by boat, it's autumn and the rocky barren moors are blown by freezing winds and the before they've even settled in, the generator and CB radio communication start to fail. Their relationship is already fragile and anxieties are pushed higher when they lose all contact with the mainland and after a heavy storm, an injured man is washed up on the shore. Dressed in military fatigues and carrying a gun, the mysterious stranger regains consciousness and identifies himself as a British soldier called Private Jack Corman and he soon reveals that he carries a deadly message ...Written by
As the sun shines through the gaps in the boarded-up window, the "sunbeams" through the dusty air diverge greatly. This would place the sun a meter outside the window. Compounding the error, the beams coming through the adjacent windows converge, meaning that there are two suns just outside the house. See more »
A tight, gripping indie thriller devolving into blood-soaked conspiracies
"Retreat" started out as a tight, minimalistic indie thriller, maintained the well written characters, and then added in some intriguing mind games played out beneath the surface. And then it devolved into a blood-fest of science fiction diseases and government conspiracies. I was riveted for the first hour and twenty minutes and then sat agape in frustration for the last ten minutes.
Martin (Cillian Murphy) and Kate (Thandie Newton) are a married couple seeking an isolated retreat. A log house on a remote island which they have been to before but not since their marriage has deteriorated. Kate thinks it is irreparable; Martin thinks he just has to apologize one more time and everything will be perfect. Then an injured soldier arrives at their door and they proceed to take him in.
Before they know it, he has locked them inside the house. Not to kill them, but to save them, or so he says. We're pretty sure he's crazy, husband and wife are pretty sure he's crazy, until sleep-deprived Martin starts falling to his insane argument. Something about there being a disease outside and if you breathe the air around an infected person, you die. Well, you cough up blood and then you die. As I said, we're pretty sure he's crazy, and this is just the type of thing that crazy people say.
The fascinating parts of this film involve the soldier convincing Martin and Kate that the threats are real, Martin seeming to believe him, Kate getting angry, and then Martin just wanting to take care of his wife and save their marriage. The majority of this takes place inside the house with only three characters. Let the mind games begin as each character tries to figure out what they want, how to get it, how to do it alone or with somebody else.
When we approached the end, I was playing along with their game, trying to predict each twist and turn that would take us to the satisfying conclusion. I did not guess correctly as I was not predicting the many twists that each character would take with their final, almost final, maybe final, and then their final final dying breath. If that sounds ridiculous, wait until you hear what was really going on. The ending would suggest that "Retreat" was one of those stupid horror movies built for blood and laughs. This is extremely disappointing because the rest of the movie suggested that it was one of the best indie thrillers around.
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