Simultaneously lingers in the mind while drifting away. Mixing a patient rhythm, a floating camera, and powerfully naturalistic performances (especially from Isaiah Washington, who should have been nominated for at least a few awards for his terrifying work) to create a film that feels both heart-rendingly chilling and absolutely ephemeral.
By affording no true empathy to his subjects, Moors allows a distance so great that these people never completely cohere as real. That’s not a bad thing, it just pushes the events so far into the abstract that they feel nightmare-like. Moors and and screenwriter Porto present the timeline in a way that follows logic without ever really making sense – in essence, they seem not to be seeking any answers. They just push the questions to forefront and let the audience desperately search for their own sense of the situation.
This ambiguity is what gives the film its power, and, conceptually, its lack of satisfaction and the way it flits through the mind is absolutely phenomenal. Ultimately, though, a film that is deliberately incomplete is still, well, incomplete, and that’s what drops it from masterpiece-status. Perhaps one or two moments of emotional insight would have solidified it. As of now, however, it remains an ambitious but flawed dream.