Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival 2012
“Builds tension to a calculated and ultimately brutal crescendo” — John Marrone, BLOODY DISGUSTING
After the death of their young daughter, heartbroken Mark (DIARY OF THE DEAD’s Josh Close) and Mary (HELLBOY’s Selma Blair) escape to a remote, forested vacation home with their son in a pained attempt to rebuild their broken lives. As they slowly ease back into a routine and erase the hurt, the family’s effort to secure some quality time together is interrupted by Bobby and Jane, an abnormally friendly couple who hide a threateningly dark agenda. When the duo stops by for a very unexpected dinner, what appears at first to be awkward social skills quickly devolves into something menacingly sinister. Bobby and Jane reveal that they — and their equally deranged young son — are after “the perfect life”, and will stop at nothing to obtain it.
An ominous mix of harrowing drama and home invasion, REPLICAS excels in threatening atmosphere and ever-building anxiety. First-time director Jeremy Power Regimbal turns the dark, foreboding forest surrounding Mark and Mary’s majestic lodge into a truly desolate, dread-filled landscape — and the stunning, opulent interiors of what should be a dream home into a house of horrors. With thrilling performances from Close (who also penned the screenplay) and Blair, its James D’Arcy, soon be seen as Anthony Perkins in Sacha Gervasi’s HITCHCOCK, who knocks it out of the park as the deranged Bobby — a power-hungry madman who teeters continually between awkward loner and death-dealing sociopath. And as Jane, BULLY’s Rachel Miner disappears into a troubled soul with nowhere to go but deeper into madness. Whispering to Blair’s Mary as she surveys her victim’s seemingly perfect life, you can feel her pain as Jane’s desperate, trembling voice coughs out, “We want THIS.” Director Regimbal’s clever take on the home-invasion thriller is something special, boldly taking a page from Haneke’s FUNNY GAMES while similarly toying with the “slow burn” performances that have made an audacious name of burgeoning horror auteur Ti West. A mix of everything that sets you off and makes you fidget nervously, REPLICAS is the rare kind of modern suspense thriller that defies its labels and delivers on all fronts.
— Ted Geoghegan