Reading the plot summary for the film sounded like a straight up psycho thriller that would have sited comfortably in Michael Douglas' résumé if this were made 20 years ago, so my initial expectations were pretty much fair to middling.
Sandy leads a comfortable life in Belfast. He's a university lecturer and a regular guest on a popular television arts programme.
His one novel, though published many years ago, is still in print and regarded a classic. But Sandy has a habit of stealing things for kicks. S
Shoplifting has become the one little thrill in his overly domesticated life - but when Sandy gets caught by Robert, a desperately lonely security guard, his life is turned inside out. br> Although the film has very little to,surprise you with its narrative, it's the performances from the two leads that really make the film stand out. Ever since This Is England, Graham has that knack of really striking fear into the viewer whenever he is on screen, even in those overblown Johnny Depp in make up films.
And this is what grips you from the very moment his hand grips Sandy's shoulder, you are waiting for the moment that Sandy says something or does something that will turn their pseudo relationship sour, and it's not as subtle as you'd think.
All the tropes of these psycho thrillers are here though, and it deters the film for being as excellent as it should be, it relies on the performances of the protagonist/antagonist (which sounds silly I know) rather than being daring and do something more original.
Even though it harks back to Unlawful Entry/Pacific Heights/Single White Female/ Consenting Adults/Fatal attraction, I couldn't help but think it was more of a hybrid of Misery meets The Cable Guy.
It sounds like a damning criticism of the film. It's really not. It doesn't stretch the premise within an inch of its life, it doesn't use any cheap parlour tricks to get cheap thrills.
It's just a purely entertaining film with two wonderful performances, and one hell of an ending.
It's so unexpected.
Well worth seeking out.