Director: Carl Tibbetts (2011)
Starring: Thandie Newton, Cillian Murphy, Jamie Bell
Find it: IMDB

Locked away with their own misery at an island writers' retreat, Kate (Newton) and Martin (Murphy) find disturbed wounded soldier Jack (Bell) on their doorstep. He tells the pair that there's a murderous virus on the loose, and proceeds to forcibly lock down the cottage. But is there really a contagious disease in the air, or is Jack insane? All I know is that Jamie Bell is not a menacing figure, no matter how hard he tries to harass Thandie Newton.

Retreat is like Dead Calm set in a cottage. This low-budget psychological thriller has many familiar elements; the bickering couple grieving a dead child; the grim deserted windswept environment; the very British violin score. Martin's rise from weak husband to hardened hero feels too much like it did when Dustin Hoffman went through exactly the same motions in Straw Dogs. Even the ending is a complete rip-off of one of the greatest horror endings of all time.

Despite the over familiarity and air of predictability, Retreat is well-acted, its characters' plight sympathetic and the story interesting. There's a nice element of is-there-isn't-there to the plot, and even Jamie Bell does okay despite being terribly miscast and not at all scary or tough.

Resist the urge to Retreat; this is a movie that eventually proves itself worth watching.

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