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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Dustin Milligan, Amanda Crew and Richard De Klerk
Signature Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Available 25 March 2013

So, what would you do if you discovered that your day was repeating and your actions would have no consequences? For Kyle Halsted, Sonia Logan and Michael "Mike" Weeks, three recovering addicts in rehab the obvious answer is to go on the rampage, robbing shops and threatening dealers. After their initial; foray into antisocial behaviour Kyle and Sonia see the repeating day as a gift, a chance to repair relationship and put their lives back in order. Mike’s behaviour, however, goes from one extreme to another, finally pitting the other two against him...

Repeaters (2010 - 1 hr, 25 min, 34 sec) is a darker look at the material covered in Groundhog Day. The film was directed by Carl Bessai, from an Arne Olsen screenplay. This is not the first film to follow the basic premise and I doubt it will be the last. What Repeaters brings to this sub-genre is a look at the worse angels of our natures.

It’s interesting that the script should insist that the characters are recovering addicts, possibly they felt that this stereotype would be more acceptable, to an audience, as portrayals of people going off the rails as, in one sense, by their addictions, they have already crossed that line. In so choosing the characters background, we are offered the chance of redemption, for at least two of the characters and damnation for Mike, who ultimately abuses, what could conceivably be seen as a gift.

It would have been a more interesting film if it had cast three ordinary suburbanites, after all, the vast majority of violent crimes are not committed by either the insane or those with addictions, but by ordinary people. The film therefore fails to use the opportunity to shine a light on the violence which is inherent in all people, covered by the thin veneer of civilisation.

Like the characters in Satre’s Huis Clos, our three protagonists soon discover that three is an unstable number for a relationship and that ultimately hell really is other people. Kyle and Sonia initially go along with the idea of acting out some extreme behaviour, like robbing a store and humiliating a drug dealer, all in the knowledge that the world would reset in the morning and they could live a life without consequence.

They moved quickly from being freaked about the situations to trying to resolve their individual relationship problems, only to discover that this is impossible in a single day, no matter how many of them you have. Sonia is the first to question their increasingly destructive behaviour, mostly because she fears that they might wake up and discover that time has moved on, meaning they would have to pay for their actions.

From this point on the format changes to a more thriller like structure as Kyle and Sonia try to stop Mike’s increasingly insane actions.

Like I said, at the beginning, there is much that could have been done with this format, but casting the characters as recovering addicts immediately places a barrier between the characters and the sympathies of the audience. Overall it was difficult to care what happened to them.

The look and feel of the film felt more like something made for television, rather than a film, but this may have been a consequence of the film's limited budget. The main actors Dustin Milligan (Kyle), Amanda Crew (Sonia) and Richard de Klerk (Mike) are effective in what they are required to portray, but we do not spend enough time with them prior to them going off the rails to really care.

The disc supplied was a DVD screener, so there were no menus and no extras, worse still my copy died five minutes before the end of the film.


Charles Packer

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