Director: Caroline Lebrèche & Steeve Léonard
Cast: Diego Klattenhoff, Charlotte Sullivan, Brett Donahue
Liam wakes from a car crash with no memory of who he is. As he makes his way into town to look for help, he finds only dead bodies, all with strange pale eyes. Liam’s first assessment is that a virus is present in the air, but he soon discovers the horrible truth: anyone who comes within a 50-foot radius of him dies instantly. – IMDB
Car crashes and memory losses are a common occurrence in film. Radius however takes a different approach by adding extra element to the familiar, an unknown danger. From that point on, Radius sets up a thriller that starts off in its opening scene setting up the mysterious and suspenseful scenario and following through with a tense and well-paced thriller to the finish. There are only a few key characters and while the foundation of the movie sometimes falls into a familiar formula, the radius of death for Liam and his reliance on this unknown girl who is the only one mysteriously immune to it is what keeps the audience on their toes. There is a danger here and yet, the characters don’t seem to deserve any of it because they are hurt and confused.
The cast mainly revolves around the two main characters. The first is a man we soon learn to be Liam. He is portrayed by Diego Klattenhoff who pulls off a strong performance. A lot of the opening scenes are solo and quiet moments and he manages to show the confusion and desperation as he realizes fairly early in the film that he has this mysterious danger to others. As the first act wraps up, Liam has learned his name and meets this other girl who also lost her memory and doesn’t remember her name so is referred to as Jane (short for Jane Doe), who is played by Charlotte Sullivan. Her role here is also done well as she seems even more of a blank slate than Liam and because of that, she is more suspicious of the situation and this man who initially hides information from her. Their bond is one that is intriguing to watch evolve as their journey to follow each memory that flashes by them to uncover what actually happened takes us through the course of the film up until the big reveal. Other than this bond, these characters constantly remind us of their innocence in this situation and the despair makes them the victims. With no apparent villain other than their predicament, the audience can bond with these two characters.
Radius is a well-paced thriller. It creates a balance of mystery and humanity. Its story has the elements that raises it above the cliched initial scenario, setting it apart in a unique way. The dangers of being able to kill with proximity alienates these two characters, making their bond more intriguing to watch develop. Radius does an intriguing set up in its first act and a tense fast-paced second act but slightly stumbles in its third act during its ramp to the final reveal. Despite its small stumbles, the third act is still shocking. Radius relies on the audiences bond with the characters. The bottomline is that Radius is a competent thriller that does well with great pacing and good characters.
Radius is an official selection for FrightFest, Fantastic Fest and Fantasia Film Festival. It is available on VOD on November 10, 2017.