Steve (Billy James Machin) and Michelle (Leonarda Sahani) book an apartment in the city. sounds prosaic enough, but the establishment’s owner Russell (Tony Denham) has double booked that mother fucker and a second couple Christophe (Christophe Delesques) and Adrienne (Charlotte Gould) plan on poppin’ a squat there as well.
But ol’ Russ cooks up a solution with the quickness; they can share the space tonight and he’ll comp a second apartment the next day. Crammed in that room, our heroes get down to brass tacks… mainly feeling all tense and shit, but some drink n’ drugs cure that… but with that comes some mind games and fuckin’… and that hoary ol’ chestnut; brutal violence. So, who will survive long enough to take advantage of Russell’s gratis pad?
Featuring a vibe akin to ’70s cinema, and some lighting that will give giallo fans some tightness in the crotch of their collective trousers, Exit is a fascinating anomaly in the horror biz (as far as trends of the day are concerned anyway). Screenwriter Mathew Bayliss has certainly crafted an intriguing narrative that manages to keep the tension tight as we do a swan dive into the depths of the dark side of human behavior while keeping the audience guessing if the goings-on are merely a really, really fucked up drug trip, or perhaps something more preternatural. Thankfully the cast is more than capable of making the entire fever dream believable and entertaining, no matter how pitch black and bizarre the events of the story become.
There’s also some social commentary on display, with Russell definitely bringing to mind a certain unpopular world leader (hell, The Art of the Deal even turns up in a scene), and I’m sure the nationalities of the couples have to do with the ongoing political climate in jolly ol’ England, but politics ain’t my bag baby, so you lot can suss that out for yourselves.
The only real misstep with Exit involves a little too much info being given right up front that takes a bit of the edge off from the events and how they play out. It isn’t a deal breaker, but definitely felt off in the scheme of things.
Suspenseful and fucked-up in equal measure, Exit makes for one hell of a thriller with strong performances, an off-kilter vibe, and some good ol’ ultra-violence! Give this one a wicked whirl cats n’ creeps!