Friday, November 18, 2011

Coffin Rock (2009)

The simplest answer isn't always the easiest answer

A couple, Robert and Jessica, near the coast in Australia, have a large house and established business to their name but want to fill in the whole picture with a child before biological clocks run out. The wife is enthusiastic but the husband feels some shame from his boys failing to swim the channel home. They go to a clinic to check sperm count when the receptionist, Evan, takes a liking to Jessica from a distance as she waits in the lobby. He travels to their little fishing village and blends in with a job at the local crayfish factory. She's a simple but outgoing small town woman in a largely male workforce who's only dealt with the occasional jerk in a bar. Evan acts imposing towards her all the while berating and muttering to himself. Soon enough he waits till she's drunk and emotionally torn with her husband and they have a spur-of-the-moment quickie.

She flat out states her regrets for their brief entanglement but Evan quickly turns emotionally attached to the point of obsession. It's more than just puppy love but some kind of psychotic abandonment issue, along with volatile tendencies of anger. Jessie has a conundrum on her hands, as someone else spied the incident, she doesn't want her husband to find out and she's now pregnant with the strong possibility Evan's the father. Robbie sees that she's pregnant and gets their friends and family excited over what he assumes is his. Though the best news turns to the worst as Jessie is getting shaken up with random visits from Evan that are getting more and more dangerous with not only herself but loved ones caught in the middle as well.

The film turns over to the destruction of relationships with one side worse and far more calculative in their deceit than the other to the point of a cat and mouse game looking like the former animal upgraded to a starved lion. It makes the experience more depressing than a challenge to correct what went wrong or coming with something more to leave with for contemplation for the audience besides the obvious: I'm not going let that happen to me! It was strange to set the tone with some authenticity, only to then turn over to an over-the-top, somewhat straightforward psychotic thriller of the cinema invention kind. It made the story go from marching to the beat of its own drum to producing shuffled around scenarios that only come with the territory of the genre.

The movie gives little to grab onto in the downward spiral after tentatively going through the messages of trusting strangers too soon and cheating aspects. It makes the experience harder to watch as it shifts more and more over the deep end with little fighting chance in sight to the point of begging, squirming and pleading of the lead actress. Not to mention, the motivations, as kooky as they are, aren't always outlined--such as the initial hookup being jumped into like an everyday thing, or why others were terrorized or made to suffer. The film creates some fear of the what-if-it-happened-to-you type, though momentarily grabbing your chest from the possible what-if compared to actually watching it play out are two different things. It turns into one stupid move after the next when more than enough opportunities are presented that are usually of the simple communicating kind. Honesty versus hurting someone? This was more than just a little case of irresponsibility.

As a thriller it's paced well enough and there are still some scenes that carry tension, some here and there memorable quality and an uncomfortable feeling as she gets stalked and pushed against a wall with an omnipresent breath in her face. There's a different range of emotions used as the story progresses from, Lisa Chappell, as Jess, being the regular, easy going woman and supportive partner at work and at home, to then trying to get out of a mud slicked hole with her hands behind her back. I'm disappointed that they didn't make her a little more tough with her above average height and confident ability to work side by side men in the town. Sam Parsonson, as Evan with an Irish accent, definitely takes a few of the scenes all out and manages to create some distinctions to his personality that come with a few unpredictable situations of what he'll do next. This gives room to make the characters and the setting carry some realism--even starting out with light drama and their day to day lives, some humor and raw innocence--though it still carries some melodramatic and exaggerated scenes past a certain point to up the ante and make it more of a cinematic experience than something that you'd actually believe could happen.

Rating: 6.5/10

Director: Rupert Glasson
Stars: Lisa Chappell, Sam Parsonson, Robert Taylor
Link: IMDB

No comments:

Post a Comment