Carl Tibbett’s directorial debut Retreat is a psychological thriller that leaves the audience guessing, a smartly-written plausible drama that draws you in slowly and leaves you at the edge of your seat until the very last moment.
The characters are well matched and well played. Thandie Newton stars as Kate, a woman still suffering the after-effects of a stillborn child, and Cillian Murphy plays Martin, a pushover of an architect who is trying his hardest to reconnect with their earlier, happier relationship.
A planned retreat to the remote and unpopulated Blackholme Island, which is off the west coast of Scotland, goes south after a terrible storm knocks out the generator of Fairweather Cottage. The only method of communication with the mainland is a CB, and it isn’t working.
A bloodied and injured soldier named Jack (played by Jamie Bell) stumbles onto the grounds with news of a worldwide pandemic and convinces the couple to seal themselves in the cottage to keep out the “others that are coming.” The couple struggles with their doubt in the validity of the soldier’s story and the truth as it is revealed at the end of the tale is a testimony to Tibett’s clear-eyed control of both the script and the direction the film takes. The film hits UK theaters October 14, and reaches US shores a week later on October 21.