Gone's psychological tilt is refreshing for those who can smell a plot twist a mile away.
Should you rely on the kindness of strangers? As a backpacker, there's nothing like hitting it off with a fellow traveller, particularly one that offers you a free ride. Rather than affirming the joys of such serendipitous encounters, however, UK director Ringan Ledwidge's debut feature Gone warns against taking such risks.
This ominous story is played out in Australia where British couple Alex and Sophie (Shaun Evans and Amelia Warner) meet the mysterious and enigmatic Taylor (played by Scott Mechlowicz, who does creepy outsider with disarming skill). After a brief friendship, Taylor unexpectedly invites Alex and Sophie to join him on a road trip, and with some apprehension the couple accept.
The travellers head off the conventional tracks to explore the more hidden terrains of the Outback, but as the weather becomes both unbearable and volatile, so do the characters. Alex becomes increasingly aware of Taylor's interest in his girlfriend and is convinced that Taylor's calm demeanour belies a more sinister sensibility. His fears are realised when Taylor uses blackmail to drive a wedge between the young couple.
The whole 'what-can-go-wrong-will-go-wrong' adage is a tired one in dramas, so Gone's psychological tilt is refreshing for those who can smell a plot twist a mile away. It's also an outstanding example of how to create tension; when to let it brew, build up and break out. This is good work with a familiar premise, and that should always be rewarded.
Aussie Outback dramas are always worth watching.
You get a sense that you're walking on a tightrope that's about to break.
Good, but The Proposition and Wolf Creek are hard acts to follow.