Radius Movie
Photo from the film Radius.

Epic Pictures
Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shock Ya!
Grade: C+
Director: Caroline Labèrche, Steeve Léonard
Written by: Caroline Labèrche, Steeve Léonard
Cast: Diego Klattenhoff, Charlotte Sullivan
Screened at: Critics’ link, NYC, 11/8/17
Opens: November 10, 2017

If you can’t get enough of Stephen King despite your avid consumption of his door-stopper novels and wealth of movie adaptations, take a look at “Radius.” This Canadian movie has elements of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller “The Birds,” except that this time a human being gets revenge by knocking off some pigeons. “Radius” is a Canadian film that comes to us under the radar. This is a pic without deep filming pockets, with erratic and often shaky photography, and much of it takes place in relative darkness. It’s a whodunit of sorts, revealing insights hither and thither, making the audience wonder what will happen next, and lo, toward the conclusion a revelation that you would not see coming.

Nonetheless, too much of the pacing is slow with only a few melodramatic moments, with acting that’s hardly cutting edge. For example, the principal performer was quite a bit better in his appearances as Mike Faber on the wonderful TV series “Homeland,” but then, those episodes had a more flexible budget.

Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Leonard, whose only other feature, “Sans dessein” finds a young man visited by a ghost of his former self, use similar thematic material now in their sophomore film. It’s imaginative enough: Liam (Diego Klatternhof) crashes his car on a country road, his memory wiped out. He finds out his name from his driver’s license but cannot bring up any images of his life whatever—and if he could, he would find that he is no ordinary fellow. He has picked up a skill that would have made him just the right guy to walk into the secret home in Pakistan of Osama bin Laden unarmed, as he finds that any animal or human being that gets within a 50 foot radius of him drops dead. One exception, though. A woman calling herself Jane Doe (Charlotte Sullivan) marches into the shed where he is hiding to avoid more killings and suffers no ill effects. In fact as long as she is with him, he can walk up to anyone without harm.

Off they go on a joint venture, sharing their curiosity about their identities, and as you can guess, though they try to stay together, circumstances arise that force them apart. And people die. For some reason, possibly a flaw in the script, some people drop dead instantly while others linger for a minute or so. Also immediately upon death, the victims’ eyes turn a sickly color, which I do not believe really happens that quickly in real life.

The pace is ever so slow, and in fact it takes some sixty-six minutes of film before we get some swift and welcome action. As movies go, budgetary restrictions take their toll. For a good example of how an almost unlimited budget can deal with amnesia, you’d want to go to “Memento.” Despite the thematic imagination, this comes off as merely a TV movie, a detective story with more than a touch of the supernatural.

Unrated 87 minutes. © Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Comments, readers? Agree? Disagree? Why?

Story – C
Acting – C
Technical – C+
Overall – C+

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By Harvey Karten

Harvey Karten is the founder of the The New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) an organization composed of Internet film critics based in New York City. The group meets once a year, in December, for voting on its annual NYFCO Awards.

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