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Rift

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Mar 19, 2018
'Rift'
'Rift'  

Something strange is going on with Einar (Sigurður Þór Óskarsson) in the weeks after their breakup, but ex-boyfriend Gunnar (Björn Stefánsson) can't quite work it out. Einar has retreated to his parents' rural getaway house -- a cabin called Rökkur (which is also the film's original Icelandic title) -- but what's he been up to out there on his own?

Worried by a cryptic voice mail message, Gunnar heads out to Rökkur to meet Einar and make sure he's all right. It's a fraught proposition, given that Einar is -- as Gunnar puts it -- "borderline alcoholic with anger issues." (What else would you call someone who guzzles beer and threatens to douse you with boiling water?) But the jagged edges of their unresolved relationship make it necessary for Gunnar to complete the journey, even if it takes him to a landscape riven with dangerous natural trenches and dotted with abandoned houses. It's treacherous terrain, and it reflects the volatile connection between the two former lovers.

Adding to the stress of the reunion is a menacing presence. Is it a burglar, preying on the area's seasonally abandoned summer homes? Is it the reclusive farmer Grétar, about whom there are unsavory rumors? Could it be a ghost? Or is it all the work of Gunnar's weary, overwrought imagination?

Writer-director Erlingur Thoroddsen's thriller is part bad romance, part "Don't Look Now"-style suspense, a haunting horror story in which anxiety, like the glacier that looms on the horizon, is the only anchor. Chilling!

http://www.qflixphilly.com

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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