Third Contact (2011)

I do not like this film.

Which doesn’t change the fact that it is brilliant and incredibly well made, the first major work of someone who may become a huge new talent, and an impressive example of what can be done on a nothing budget.

I just don’t like it.  I’m not sure you’re supposed to.

What Simon Horrocks has created here is a strange little film shot in High Contrast Black and White on camcorders.  It frequently looks grainy and his shots overflow with black.

Nor is the film put together in a straightforward way, with a story which, while mostly linear, takes its time filling in a lot of important details and at times wanders off into memory and the surreal.

It tells a tightly-constructed mystery story, about a series of sinister suicides, but along the way we deal with issues of regret and depression before a psychologist can unravel the strange conspiracy which is somehow seducing his patients into killing themselves.  There is talk of Quantum Mechanics (which seems de rigueur these days for these sorts of films), flashes of color in some of the more pleasant memories (which later proves to be important.  Maybe.) and a number of memorable, if often inexplicable, images, like the big, stuffed toy ape which appears in one sequence.

I would note that what the “Destinations” people provide just doesn’t seem worth the risk involved.  Not even for our best and most vivid memories.

Oh, well.  It’s incredible, beautiful and requires a bit of thought.

It’s just that you probably won’t like it.


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