Radius (2017)

Okay, let’s face it, this one is barely science fiction.

Not that that changes the fact that it uses its rather curious premise to build a very solid drama, where the hidden secrets of the characters are, ultimately, far more important than the strange circumstances afflicting them.

Liam wakes up after a car crash with no memory of who he is or what has happened to him. When the first people he encounters suddenly drop dead, he thinks it is some sort of biological terrorist attack, but he soon discovers that anything, whether animal or human, which gets too close to him dies.

That changes when he meets “Jane Doe”, a young woman who was in the same accident, and who also has no memory of what happened.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, character matters more than the Science Fictional parts of this film. What happened before the crash is far more important than the mysterious event which followed. Radius’ ultimate truth stands the entire story on its head with a series of strange revelations. It all ends with a surprising act of sacrifice from an unlikely person — without ever answering any of what might seem to be the big questions.

At least to a fan of SF movies.

While most people do realize just how important story and character are in any film, they often are neglected in SF film (although, to be fair, they’re not doing too well in a lot of other films these days!). Fortunately, the Indy film circuit does still produce a few films that find intriguing new ways to tell an interesting story with plenty of room for exploring its characters.

This is a singularly strong example of the breed — one of the better ones, even if it isn’t a truly great film. It is well worth a look — even if its explanations may not explain as much as we’d like.

And, yes, whether it is Science Fiction or not.

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And check out our new Feature (Updated May 16, 2019):

The Rivets Zone:  The Best SF Movies You’ve Never Seen!

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