Radius (2017) starring Diego Klattenhoff, Charlotte Sullivan, and Robert Borges. Directed by Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard.
Trolling through the Netflix dungeon searching for hidden gems is basically a part-time job for me. Usually, that job pays like hell, but occasionally you can strike pay dirt and get a nice little bonus. Radius is one of those treasures. That’s a lot of mixed metaphors.
The first act of Radius kicks off with a bang when a man, Liam, awakens from a car accident to realize that anyone who gets within fifty feet of him dies instantly. Oh, and he’s suffering from a case of complete amnesia. Now that’s a helluva hook. People are dying in the streets, in diners, and while driving as they get too close.
Liam quickly realizes that he has to flee society or a lot more innocents will be pushing daisies. As it turns out, even animals succumb to whatever malady plagues him. Birds fall out of the sky, squirrels from trees. Liam’s guilt explodes along with the death toll. But soon he encounters a woman who comes searching for him who is not only immune to his deadly radius, but actively negates it for other people when she’s close enough to him.
Things go sideways from there as the duo, both suffering from the same amnesia, attempt to figure out who they are and what happened to them. And they have to do it all while staying away from anyone else. That’s where the intensity of the film comes from – the forced isolation. Anytime someone draws near, it literally becomes a life or death situation.
The chemistry between the two primary actors is great. They’re both convincing as their characters progress throughout the narrative. Their interplay as they slowly unravel the mystery is great. The secondary characters, while few, all do a solid job as well.
It was really the end of the movie that completely sold me. I won’t post spoilers, but I thought the writer/director duo did an outstanding job wrapping the story up in an extremely satisfying way that I didn’t expect. High-concept stories often fizzle in the third act, but not in this case.
The budget appears relatively small on this with a tiny cast and a few FX shots that weren’t spectacular, but those are easy to overlook. This is the perfect kind of find on Netflix for me. If you’re like me and you’re always searching for something lesser known, but higher quality, then check out Radius.