2005 19mins prod Canadian Film Centre, p Lea Marin, d/sc Sean Frewer, ph Samy Inayeh, ed Gareth Jones; with Stephen Bogaert, Kimwun Perehinec, Michele Duquet.
Out there in the scrubbed suburbs of Anywhere Canada, where The Adjusters Noah Render used to live, a nameless couple is dealing with the death of their child. The fastidious interiors of their huge home now house a riot of emotional pain, confusion and anger. While he (Bogaert) goes off to work, she (Perehinec) becomes increasingly involved in an underground culture of death, sneaking out of the house at night to watch what appear to be snuff films at a clandestine cinema to which she was introduced by a seemingly equally troubled neighbour. Images of extreme violence are absorbed, replayed and internalized as she drafts a personal classified ad to find release from her pain. Aside from its Egoyanesque overtones, the film weaves together elements of Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, Cronenberg's Videodrome and Leon Marr's Dancing in the Dark. Austere and absorbing, Escape is a convincing descent into a maelstrom of anguish and, ultimately, deadly despair. While the occasionally mannerist soundtrack threatens to drown all the quiet desperation with denotative musical distress signals, promising writer/director Sean Frewer wisely never permits it to linger too long. There is a great, appalling sadness at work in this film, an unflinching vision of lives un-livable.