The first feature from Adelaide directing duo Indianna Bell and Josiah Allen, 'You’ll Never Find Me' is an unrelentingly claustrophobic and tightly controlled psychological thriller.
AFF review: You’ll Never Find Me
Set almost entirely inside the caravan park home of Patrick, an isolated and unstable man, we open with the unexpected arrival of a mysterious woman seeking shelter from a raging storm.
Like many a low-budget thriller, the film’s runtime is largely devoted to the low-simmering tension that grows out of this strange scenario, as the two loners, capably played by Brendan Rock and Jordan Cowan, gradually reveal their initially ambiguous motivations, guiding us towards a chaotic, kaleidoscopic climax.
You’ll Never Find Me screens 4:45 pm Friday 27th of October at Palace Nova Eastend.
See the full program here.
You’ll Never Find Me is a case study in how a reduced budget can impose a kind of productive discipline onto filmmakers, who are obliged by circumstance to flex their creative and craft muscles in the absence of scope or money.
Bell and Allen are admirably resourceful filmmakers, deftly building an atmosphere of suffocating dread out of relatively limited resources. The humble setting of a small transportable home is transformed into a location of immense foreboding by the precision of Bell and Allen’s technique, particularly in the film’s early scenes, where a defiantly unconventional editing rhythm keeps the action feeling constantly off balance, in perfect step with its preoccupations with psychosis and tenuous connections to reality.
This review was provided by the “2023 Emerging Screen Critics Program” – a Screen Studies collaboration between the Adelaide Film Festival and UniSA Creative, with the participation of students and mentors from the University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide and Flinders University. Supported by CityMag.
The plot and thematic territory owe as much to the canonical works of horror and thriller filmmaking – the suffocatingly confined tension of Hitchcock films Rope and Dial M for Murder comes to mind – as it does contemporary questions of gendered power dynamics and the psychological consequences of misogyny in the minds of men.
Most of all, the film revels in suspense and sensation. Bell and Allen deserve much credit. The film has already been successful at the Tribeca and Melbourne Film Festivals – and plenty of praise will continue to accumulate on the international stage.