Friday, August 3, 2012

REPLICAS (2012) review

Replicas (2012) (1st viewing) d. Regimbal, Jeremy Power (Canada)

An affluent young couple (Josh Close, Selma Blair), reeling from the death of their young daughter and seeking to escape the everyday reminders around them, retreat to their family’s private mountain lodge. With their 9-year-old son and fluffy pooch in tow, their arrival is met by the spontaneous welcoming committee of James D’Arcy and Rachel Miner, themselves a young couple with a 9-year-old son. The enthusiastic and persistent neighbors invite themselves over for the evening, paving the way for one of the most indefinably tense dinner sequences in recent memory. In fact, this first act is so supremely unsettling, with D’Arcy and Miner’s over-the-top ingratiating and friendly demeanor absent any discernible agenda, that it’s almost disappointing when Replicas turns into a standard if effective home invasion scenario. However, even within this familiar terrain, first time director Regimbal and his well-honed cast have a few tricks up their sleeves, introducing fresh and unsettling maneuvers into the subgenre’s playbook. Leading man Close’s impressive screenwriting debut invites not-unwarranted comparisons to Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, minus the intellectualizing and with a lot more sly, disquieting humor on display. Definitely worth checking out.

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