Perfect Strangers

Year: 2003
Director: Gaylene Preston
Cast: Rachel Blake, Sam Neill
I don't mind having to do some of the work watching a movie, but some directors like not only making you do all the work, but not even telling you if you got it right. I like for someone to tell me a story, not for someone to throw a whole lot of images at me and have me work it out. Or worse, for there to not even be a solution, and for me to have to make my own meaning.

That's why I've never liked David Lynch movies despite trying really hard to do so, and that's why I didn't like this.

It showed promise; good Australasian actors playing out a realistic woman-in-trouble thriller, but that was obviously never the director's intention, and when things turn weird (early on), I lost interest.

An average girl (Blake) goes home with a stranger from the pub - home is a deserted island across a storm swept sea to a cabin hidden high up on a jungle coast somewhere in New Zealand.

When he snaps and things turn nasty because of an obvious obsessive psychosis, they both get hurt - her head smashed onto a table and he stabbed.

Then thing change gear to abject weirdness. After realising she has to keep him alive to help her get of the island, she starts needing him, even falling in love with him, and when he dies of the stab wound, she proceeds to stuff him in the freezer and pretend they still love each other and live as man and wife, to the extent of seeing him everywhere and (somehow) getting pregnant.

It's well made, the locations are ruggedly beautiful and must have been a nightmare to film in, but the script and premise comprise a jigsaw puzzle more so than a story, and for that reason it fails to satisfy.

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