Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Daylight" is a taut mini-thriller, German style, in New York State

A recent but brief and taut thriller by David Barker, “Daylight”, transposes European-style small cast plotting to upstate New York.  A wealthy young couple (from Germany or Switzerland), on their way to an unspecified wedding (not theirs?), Dan and Irene (Aidan Redmond and Alexandra Meierhans) picks up a hitchhiker (Renny, played by Michael Godere) when lost somewhere in the Catskills.  Soon they are carjacked, and taken to a house occupied by co-conspirators Leo and Murph (Ivan Martin and Brian Bickerstaff).  Godere, one of the writers, is quite likeable in a way, and seems almost out of character playing this kind of role. 

The drama then takes some unusual twists.  The criminals act as if they were at war with rich people, to take by force what they can (to survive?)   Threats and “funny games” start, sometimes erotic (both homo and hetero), and gradually Irene decides she can use her pregnancy as a kind of defensive weapon.  There is a bit of Stockholm Syndrome for a bit – or is Irene faking it?  At the end, we know how Irene saves herself and her baby, but her husband is an open question.

I had rented the DVD and returned it, confusing it with “The Divide” (as on my “cf” blog, May 15), because the title “Daylight” would make sense for that latter film, so I watched it on Instant Play.  The rural cinematography is gorgeous online.  There was a famous film with Sylvester Stallone with the same title in 1996.

The film was distributed by Cinema Purgatorio for small limited release in 2011. The official site from the distributor is here

The film can be rented on YouTube through Warner Bros. for $3.99.   The language is mostly English (a little German, no subtitles). 

Note:  A review of "Battleship" (Peter Berg, Universal) is also on my "cf" blog May 25. 

Picture (mine), off US 9, about 80 miles N of NYC, 2011. 

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