Film Review by Kam Williams
Rural Retreat Provides Setting for Intriguing Psychological Thriller
Alice (Deborah Ann Woll) has been down ever since the day she entered her apartment and discovered the body of her boyfriend (Jake McLaughlin) who’d just committed suicide. After observing the emotional toll the tragedy was continuing to take on his formerly-reliable investigative reporter, her empathetic editor (Tom Everett Scott) suggested she take a little time off to allow herself to go through the grieving process.
So, Alice makes her way to “The Clinic,” a rustic retreat located in the woods which, at first glance, looks like the ideal place to recuperate. However, as she walks up a winding lane on her way to the reception desk, she’s approached by a stranger who prophetically warns, “You don’t want to be here.”
Nevertheless, Alice decides to check in. She meets Neil (John Diehl), the program director, who asks Charlie (Luke Grimes) to introduce her to the other residents. Instead, he tells her to “go back where you came from.”
But the journalist’s curiosity gets the better of her, so she soon meets a motley assortment of oddballs, ranging from a bully (Rain Phoenix) to a senior citizen (Diane Salinger) given to farting deliberately. Her escort Charlie turns out to be the place’s only saving grace, since he’s handsome and ready to romance the grieving lass.
Next thing you know the two are an item, and all the canoodling induces a false sense of security in Alice. Still, there’s a big skeleton on the premises just itching to be revealed.
That is the engaging premise established at the outset of Forever, an intriguing psychological thriller marking the impressive directorial debut of Tatia Pilieva, who also co-wrote the script. The picture benefits immeasurably from a plethora of decent performances as well as a cleverly-concealed plot which it would be a crime to spoil any further.
A mysterious mindbender about a deceptively-serene sanctuary with a chilling hidden agenda.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity, violence and sexuality
Running time: 95 minutes
Distributor: Monterey Media