Patrick, a strange and lonely resident, lives in a mobile home at the back of an isolated trailer park. After a violent storm, a mysterious young woman appears at his door seeking shelter from the elements.

Chuck says:

Breathing new life into the “dark and stormy night” trope, Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell’s “You’ll Never Find Me,” is a taut two-hander that uses its claustrophobic setting, punctuated by violent weather to marvelous effect. This two-hander is anchored by great performances from its two leads, as well as a genuinely sinister atmosphere bolstered by complex sound editing and a decidedly dank production design.

Patrick (Brendan Rock) seems content to be by himself, at home in a rundown trailer situated in the back of the park.  So when a rain-soaked young woman (Jordan Cowan) knocks on his door as a vicious storm rages, it’s not a welcome occurrence. Still, he invites her in, makes her something warm to drink and gets her as comfortable as he can. One would think that he would want to be rid of her as quickly as possible, yet, when she asks if he can give her a ride to town, he says they need to wait until the storm eases. When the power goes out, that only adds to her unease, as does Patrick’s intrusive questioning and the various bits of innuendo he drops regarding his past.

What could have been an exercise in tedium proves to be a riveting examination of psychosis. Inconsistencies in the stories each protagonist tells us they are not being honest with each other, but more importantly, they are not being honest with themselves. This also serves to keep the viewer guessing as to the motives of each, though there are clues aplenty as to what’s amiss, though their significance only becomes apparent after all is revealed. Of course, nothing is quite what it seems, the film’s climax being an out-of-left-field shocker that casts a new light on all previous events.

This is a sly, confident movie that shows Allen and Bell can effectively think outside the box.  Rock and Cowan are exceptional, their antagonistic chemistry keeping us hooked throughout. The former effectively mixes menace with vulnerability, keeping us off guard throughout, while the latter exudes a sense of intelligence and strength that helps put both characters on equal footing.

The sound by Olivia Aquilina and Lachlin Harris is the film’s secret weapon, the pounding rain, creaking roof, and squeaking doors all adding to the ever-mounting sense of dread. This perfectly compliments Hannah Sitters production design, a masterwork of dankness and shadows, which not only suggest the inner workings of Patrick’s mind but make the already tight quarters of the trailer seem even smaller. The sense of claustrophobia is hard to shake, especially with the directors’ ever-increasing use of tight shots throughout.

The film never lags, propelled by a trim script and the engaging performances. As for the ending, it’s not likely to satisfy all viewers but I found it haunting, one my mind has gone back to again and again.  All in all, “You’ll Never Find Me” is an exceptional debut for Allen and Bell, one that portends great things to come.

3 1/2 Stars


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