Radius Movie Review
Written by Daniel Evans
Released by Peripatetic Pictures
Written and directed by Caroline Labrèche, Steeve Léonard
2017, 87 minutes, Not yet rated
Frightfest European Premiere on 25th August 2017
Diego Klattenhoff as Liam
Charlotte Sullivan as Jane
Nazariy Demkowicz as Ted
Brett Donahue as Sam
“Memories” according to Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go) “fade surprisingly quickly”. After their memories fade “surprisingly quickly” Liam and Jane, the two protagonists of Radius, set about to discover the reason why. And where certain memories shimmer back into view to bring about a smile to the face, and a mist to the eye, their memories bring about an awful truth, climbing out of the mind's abyss, to hurtle towards them, dragging up secrets twitching and boiling, which would forever change the course of their lives.
Opening in a typical sci-fi mould, Liam is alone, bloodied and confused after a car crash and soon finds that people are quite dead (and pale eyed) wherever he sets foot. Eventually, after stumbling to the nearest town and with no memory of who or where he is, comes to the sudden realization that anyone coming within a 50-foot radius of his poor shattered self would instantly crumple to the floor, sucked of life. One person who doesn’t succumb to Liam’s sudden...charms...is a woman, also suffering from memory loss, named “Jane Doe”. Together they set out to find their past with only scratches of memory filling up the aching black mass that was once their mind's eye.
Radius is an attempt to make sci-fi with an emotional core but doesn’t explore either angle to an acceptable degree, and such a unique premise isn’t fully built upon. The added ‘cosmic event creates man with strange ailment’ story (which in Marvel's hands would be carved into a colourful, Rubik’s Cubed superhero extravaganza no doubt) is seemingly left by the wayside to make way for a sudden change in direction. As it is, with this strange happening, control is taken away from Liam and Jane survives the death radius so she could get a second chance. The ending seems rushed and glued on when stood against the previous, statelier paced hour of clue hunting and flashback grabbing, but its twists are somewhat engaging and it lulls the viewer into thinking they’re going to get science fiction (especially as we learn of the ‘cosmic event’) before going completely off the boil.
The film has a dry, pale look, like Liam has sucked the very life out of the screen itself, and thankfully the special effects are kept to a minimum (this is no low-budget attempt at an effects-driven movie), so wisely the filmmakers decided to skewer their sci-fi with memory loss thriller. The story ambles on quite innocently, neither captivating nor lifeless, but striking an odd balance in-between. If they’d had more courage to flesh out its unique ideas then this would be a stand out genre bending curiosity. As it is, anyone who comes within 50 feet of this film will not face permanent termination from life, but will feel slight disappointment with a sprinkle of admiration for the filmmakers who grasped at something different, ultimately letting it drift away like an unloved reminiscence.