“Daylight”, the new ultra-Indie shocker premiering exclusively at The Oaks Theater in Oakmont, PA, has a main character that suffers not from night terrors but, from the sparkling sunlight of “Bright Terrors”.
Filmed almost entirely during a sunny weekend, this intense psychodrama starts with a twentysomething married couple, Irene– she obviously very pregnant (8 months in fact, during shooting) & her aloof husband, Danny. Both from Switzerland, now living here, traveling to a local wedding when they get lost in the countryside.
They see someone, a young man named Renny who looks harmless enough, stop to ask for directions and unfortunately they agree to give him a ride in exchange for a route. He kidnaps them at knifepoint, along with the help of a slimey partner, and takes them to a remote farmhouse where they have already killed the homeowners.
Starting an emotional (& sometimes torturous) standoff for a few days when the now trio of criminals decide (after evaluating the pair’s worth with an expensive car and claims of extensive cash if only “they would let us go”), that one of them will take Danny to get money while the other two “wait it out with the pregnant lady.”
A sparse, simple story, though through subtle characterization, uncompromising acting & peaceful calm interludes does this familiar tale add depth and tension. Like how the bad guys talk in police speak during the kidnapping. Or how they carefully prepare meals for the person they have kidnapped. Or how the captive is able to play her captors or most importantly, how the swiss prayer Irene often says out loud– something to do with being in the daylight brings one closer to God, eventually leads to a disastrous conclusion.
Solid work from Writer/ Director David (“Afraid Of Everything”) Barker and his fine cast (mostly the leads), a luminescent Alexandra Meirehans as the soon-to-be mother, Michael (HBO’s “The Sopranos”) Godere as the seemingly innocent (until he has to murder someone) Renny & Leo, played by Ivan (“Monogamy”) Martin as the accomplice who can’t seem to actually do anything– other that threaten, that is.
Catch it now at (for my money) Pittsburgh’s best Art House and Repertory Theater all this weekend at 8 PM and escape into the harsh “Daylight” for some cool shade and an astute Thriller!