TIFF 2014 REVIEW: OCTOBER GALE
Photo courtesy of TIFF
Batten down the hatches! This Canuck feature set during a storm on a remote island in Georgian Bay attempts to scare, thrill, and intrigue…
Starring: Patricia Clarkson, Scott Speedman, Tim Roth, Callum Keith Rennie
Directed by: Ruba Nadda
Choice Quote: “The garden was young when I was young. Old when I was old. And will die when I die.”
The Hype: Widow Helen Matthews (Clarkson) visits the Georgian Bay cottage she and her husband (Rennie) shared for more than 30 years, until his untimely passing the year before. It’s October, his favourite time of the year to take a trip to their island getaway.
As Helen sorts his belongings and flashes back to the time the couple enjoyed there, a freak storm washes a young man with a gunshot wound onto her shore. With no way to contact anyone off the island, Helen patches her guest, Will (Speedman), up, slowly learns the circumstances surrounding his shooting, and unwittingly leads Will’s enemies right to her front door. From there, Helen and Will batten down the hatches and prepare to defend themselves.
See It or Skip It?: The TIFF website describes this film as a “taut psychological thriller,” though it’s barely psychological and I was less than thrilled when it was finished. It’s not the cast, who all do the best they can with the material. Rather, it’s the story, which starts slow and then builds to an ultimately deflated and predictable resolution, with some awkward attempts at romantic tension sprinkled in for fun.
One redeeming feature, however, is the scenery, which could leave you planning a trip to the cottage this autumn.
The Verdict: Wait for this storm to blow over.
Rating (out of 5): 2.5