Wrecked: An Absorbing Trapped-Actor Micro-Thriller

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Wrecked
Directed by Michael Greenspan
IFC Midnight
Opens April 1, IFC Center

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Yet another trapped-actor micro-thriller, this raw-nerved indie opens with shuddering organic close-ups too abstracted for comfort. Director Michael Greenspan eventually inches back to reveal cornea-traumatized Adrien Brody waking in a crushed car, deep in the mountains where there are no roads, his leg pinned under the dashboard and his memory fucked. Corpses surround him, and the days begin to pass. As he might have with Buried and 127 Hours, Rod Serling could’ve winged this baby inside of 24 minutes, but that doesn’t mean Greenspan, in his feature debut, doesn’t have a death grip on the lean scenario’s opportunities for texture and atmosphere: Because it’s so carefully parceled out and so evocatively framed (in widescreen), Wrecked is an absorbing ordeal, perhaps less for its survival narrative than its metaphoric heft. Brody makes for a vivid victim of purgatory (thankfully, Greenspan and scripter/non-senator Christopher Dodd did not make their man a chatterbox—it’s a quiet movie), and the iron-maiden form of the scenario is never less than physically convincing. Slowly and conventionally, memories come flashing back like electroshock and the mysteries are solved. But the experience is still nasty, enabled by a real intimacy with soil and some of the best dog acting since John Carpenter’s The Thing.

 
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2 comments
Guest
Guest

I personally was compelled by the texture of this movie. Low tech? The dried blood, swollen wounds, bloodshot discoloration in his eyes, even IN the eyelids (in extreme close-up) etc.... Low tech? I didn't see anywhere that it lacked the proper technical bells and whistles to forward the story with a sense of authenticity. As for the decomposition.. wow! i guess the hollowed out eyes,, needed maggots emerging? No, as far as I'm concerned, the movie was compelling. The only thing I can say I agree with Richard R Szerlong, is that I too, at times, did get confused about what was or wasn't real, but basically kept pace with it. The confusion on our part was probably deliberate to get us in the character's hallucinogenic state of mind? Idk.I think the actor, director, producers etc were outstanding. But then, I don't watch movies a lot, so what do I know?

Richard R Szerlong
Richard R Szerlong

The movie Wrecked does seem to be a low budget production not requiring any special staging or special effects. The dead bodies do not show signs of decomposition after several days of death. This would make the story more authentic, more gory and more horrifying. The scenes have left me confused at times about what was real and what was imagined--two different escape sequences and an imaginary dog that never existed? An unaccounted (at least to me) return to the wrecked car following the first escape sequence. (Was the first escape purely imaginary?) My mind operates in a logical way, so it was difficult to make sense of it all. Other than that, I get the hallucinatory female figure. The cougar seems authentic and feeds on dead bodies. I had no idea the cell phone worked in the end. Other than all this, the events with the flashback tie together.

 

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