Silent Retreat centers around a group of employees getting away to a company retreat to have fun, talk shop and have some employee bonding. There’s nothing better to create a bond like when there is a killer amongst the group creating a intertwining mystery that is shrouded in a dark past involving the location they are holed-up in and the characters involved in the mystery.
Writer/director Ace Jordan takes some familiar themes (Session 9, Primal Fear) and creates a more intimate film. The film is certainly a slow burn and takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into the suspense or tension. Jordan does a nice job setting up a group of characters that you end up emotionally invested in. Whether it’s hatred, in the case of the character Lira, or enjoying the slapstick comments from the likable character Teddy. All the cast works; except one. The only character that really breaks that wall to let you in that this is a indie lower budget film is the character Dale. His character seems out of place, is poorly executed, and the acting is just plain bad.
However, despite the one bad character the film plays out very well. The setup is well executed, keeping you continuously trying to guess who the killer is and once you think you have it figured out, Jordan pulls a little twist that makes you feel stupid, in a good way.
The film is by no means full of blood and gore, it’s much more in the vein of a thriller wrapped around a mystery that unfolds slowly throughout the film.
The standout performance here is of Rebecca Pitkin, playing the lead role of Rebecca. She is a pleasure to watch and I was immediately drawn to her character.
If you are looking for a terrifying, nail biter of a film, Silent Retreat is not it. If you are looking for a thought-provoking story, revolving around a well thought-out mystery with a talented cast then you certainly should check this out.
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