Caught Inside, a film by Adam Blaiklock, with Ben Oxenbould, Daisy Betts

10 October 2011

A still from Caught Inside, a film by Adam Blaiklock

Still from Caught Inside, a film by Adam Blaiklock.

Caught Inside, trailer, a psychological thriller, is the debut feature of Australian film director Adam Blaiklock, who co-wrote the screenplay with Matt Tomaszewski and Joe Velikovsky. The film, which won the Audience Award at the Sydney Film Festival in 2010, is presently screening in limited release in Australian cinemas.

Set in Bali, and the seas off Indonesia, Caught Inside follows a group of long-time friends who sail to a remote island for twelve days. Drinking and fishing are on the agenda, along with surfing at a little known location called “the butchery”, named for the spectacular surfing waves in the vicinity.

While usually a boys only getaway, Toobs (Simon Lyndon) contravenes the long standing no girls tradition by bring girlfriend Alex (Leeanna Walsman), and her friend Sam (Daisy Betts), along. While the girls don’t much bother Bobby (Sam Lyndon), and youngster Grom (Harry Cook), Bull (Ben Oxenbould), does not feel the same way.

Nonetheless the group sets sail with Skipper Joe (Peter Phelps) at the helm, and after a night of partying Bull begins to warm to the girls, particularly the single Sam. A story about a certain video featuring her that went viral online further piques Bull’s interest, but his efforts to win her attention are thwarted by Bobby, who has caught Sam’s eye.

Upon reaching the supposedly secret surfing spot, the group is surprised to find a lone European surfer residing on the nearby secluded island, who worse still, appears to have claimed “the butchery” as his. This act of “trespass” enrages Bull, who is also becoming increasingly agitated by the amount of time Bobby and Sam are spending together.

After Bull boils over, Skipper Joe leaves him on the island alone overnight to cool down. Bull, convinced Sam likes him over Bobby, returns to the yacht in the darkness, which is moored some distance off shore, and is determined that nothing, or no one, will stand between the two of them.

At first glance, Caught Inside seems to tread familiar ground, whereby a group of people, cut off somehow from the outside world, find themselves contending with a violent psychopath. But Caught Inside sets itself apart from similar stories, by not quite going the way that might be expected.

Indeed Caught Inside pushes against the weight of its run-of-the-mill expectations to advantage, generating an unsettling foreboding and suspense. Solid performances, especially from Ben Oxenbould, and striking cinematography, which includes some impressive, if disquieting, underwater shots, further buoy the story.

Originally published Monday 10 October 2011


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