We’ve all been there. Stuck in a rut, going in circles in a dead end relationship, feeling like the only way out is to dive deeper in. This seems to be where newlywed couple, Chloe (Kimberly Laferriere) and Jack (Rogan Christopher) are when they arrive in Miami for their honeymoon during the opening moments of John Ainslie’s DO NOT DISTURB. Spoilers follow.
Neither one of them seem to like the other very much, and the strained relationship is barely hanging on by a thread. We learn that Chloe was pregnant, but lost the baby, and is hoping to try again, while Jack is simply looking to party.
He gets his wish when they hang out with another couple at the hotel for a night of cocaine and liquor. Things escalate quickly and it turns into a full-blown swingers session, but Jack gets jealous, and physically pulls Chloe out of there. They argue about it, but quickly move on. This happens a lot between the two of them throughout the film, they fight, and then they just move on. It’s quite odd.
The next morning, while out on the beach, a strange man pops up, high out of his mind. He leaves them with some peyote, and disappears, quite literally, into the ocean. Jack, who’s basically a one dimensional party dude, figures he can sell the drugs, and upgrade their room. This does not go over well with Chloe. They argue – again.
Of course, they end up eating the peyote instead, hoping it might bring them closer together. That’s when things get… weird. They lose huge chunks of their days, as the couple embraces their most primitive, and carnal urges through scenes of hallucinogenic and bloody chaos, spiraling their honeymoon into an unimaginable nightmare. I’m not going to spoil all of the fun, but this film is a trip, and yes, it’s about cannibalism – and most certainly not for the faint of heart.
Overall, DO NOT DISTURB is a fun watch. The story is simple enough, but told in a way that really grabs your attention and keeps you guessing. Act three drags on a bit, with a couple of false endings that seemed unnecessary. Other than that, it’s paced very well and you get some gorgeous shots of Miami, both the city, and the beach.
I wasn’t crazy about the two main characters. Both of them are just unlikable. Chloe is frustratingly up and down, and Jack is well, kind of a douchebag. They fight and bicker constantly, then act like nothing happened. It’s exhausting.
Kimberly Laferriere does a great job portraying Chloe’s highs and lows, but the character in general is just all over the place. She treats Jack coldly, but then has small spats of affection towards him. Then cold again. It’s all very confusing, and could have been fixed by tightening up the writing in certain places. I don’t blame Kimberly’s acting for this. She had several strong scenes throughout the hour and thirty two minute runtime, and her maniacal laugh will be stuck with me for a few days, for sure.
Rogan Christopher does what he can to give Jack some depth, but the character is just so one dimensional that at times, he comes off as a caricature who only seems to want one thing. We have no real reason to invest in this guy, but hey, at least he’s consistent. He does bring a couple of humorous moments that serve to break up the heavy tone of the film, though. So, points for the comic relief. There’s a scene where his legs stop working that I’m still laughing out loud about.
This film is weird, gross, and offbeat, and that’s all part of its charm. Especially when Chloe is tearing through flesh, moaning erotically. If you’re looking for something with major WTF factor, this movie’s for you. It’s a unique take on the cannibal genre, with some compelling pieces, but falls just a bit short on character development. Worth a watch, but I wouldn’t go back for seconds.
You can catch DO NOT DISTURB in select theaters now, and on VOD November 21st, courtesy of Dark Star Pictures.