Retreat (2011)

Feature Film | Thriller | UK/Ireland | English | 1h30m
Dir: Carl Tibbetts | Scr: Janice Hallett & Carl Tibbetts | DP: Chris Seager | Prod: Gary Sinyor | Mus: Ilan Eshkeri | Ed: Jamie Trevil Cast: Cillian Murphy, Thandie Newton, Jamie Bell
With the memory of the miscarriage of their first child still fresh and painful, a handsome young professional couple decamps to an unpopulated island retreat – the scene of an earlier holiday and happier times – in an attempt to massage some life back into its quietly ailing relationship, in Tibbetts’s solidly crafted though rather uninspired little thriller. However, the island's healing serenity is soon shattered when a bloodied soldier (Bell) comes bursting into their life with an incredible tale of a global incurable flu pandemic making its way towards them, imposing his will onto them in the process, and convincing them to seal off and defend from the outside world their decidedly-past-its-best holiday home. He (Murphy) is quick to believe him; she (Newton) not so much; whilst we, the viewer, find ourselves caught between the two. Predictably, much unpredictability follows, with its twists and turns holding our attention throughout, though never really with quite enough freshness to inspire more than odd half-hearted gasp. The performances from the attractive, talented cast also fall a little short of our high expectations, though Eshkeri's score often proves, at least sporadically, quite impressive. Vaguely bland, then, but diverting, never the less.