This debut feature by British director Jennifer Sheridan is an impressively pared-back, atmospheric exercise in tension which will appeal to fans of films like 2017’s It Comes at Night.
Written by Matt Stokoe, who stars opposite his real-life partner Sophie Rundle, the film revolves around Sam and Rose, a couple who live a strange, solitary existence in a cabin in the woods. Rose mostly stays at home and writes, while Sam grows their vegetables and catches rabbits in the forest for food. At first, it is unclear as to why this is; there are hints and moments that suggest some sort of dystopian future (one that calls to mind our own age of Covid-related anxiety) and little by little, we come to understand this couple’s unusual situation.
The central performances are strong; there is a tangible warmth and history to Sam and Rose’s interactions, and when a third character’s fate becomes entangled in their own, we are so invested in this couple that the stakes feel appropriately life-or-death. An intriguing, claustrophobic chiller that, in Sheridan and Stokoe, announces two exciting new voices in British genre film-making.