Dir. Thomas Sainsbury | New Zealand | 2023 | 94 mins
Ian Thompson is a man teetering on the precipice of a breakdown. His distinct lack of outdoorsy skills doesn’t deter him from embarking upon a solo hike on a remote bush trail in an attempt to steady his nerves, but any chance of a mindful escape is shattered when he encounters several other walkers on the same route. Whilst awkwardly navigating social interactions and bouts of inane chatter with his new companions, which for him is a horror in itself, Ian begins to experience creeping feelings of paranoia that they are being followed, suspicions that are only made worse by his nightly bouts of insomnia. As Ian’s growing feelings of mistrust towards the others become mutual, his grip on reality starts to unravel as he becomes more and more convinced that they are indeed being followed by someone, or something…
Simmering anxieties, growing paranoia and awkward hiking camaraderie collide in this suspenseful and funny psychological thriller from writer/director/actor Thomas Sainsbury (who no doubt will be familiar to many for his portrayal of Officer Parker in Wellington Paranormal.) With this, his debut feature, Sainsbury has created a tense exploration of one man’s paranoid delusions that may actually turn out to be true, peppered with flashes of humour and silliness, not to mention a climax that is sure to be a talking point as soon as the credits roll.
Screening with WOLF WHISTLE + TRANSYLVANIE
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