Mysterious events surround two travelers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to a dark and complex web of secrets.
It’s clear from the start that this is an unnatural relationship, though we don’t learn all the details until the end. Nick and Sam present themselves as brothers, and Sam unconvincingly tells everyone he meets that his name is Jeremiah, but their uneasy bond is apparent to everyone. The movie follows them as they drive across a gorgeous and eerily depopulated rural landscape, eating in restaurants and staying at a motel (run by Emily Althaus of “Orange is the New Black”).
The co-directors and their cinematographer Todd Banhazl (“Between Us”) shoot in a wide format that evokes sense memories of science fiction movies, action films and westerns. They often capture action from disorienting subjective angles, as in the shots of clouds scudding by as seen by the boy lying down in the backseat of Nick’s car as he drives. And there are shocking flash-cuts of hideously beautiful or viscerally upsetting imagery—a house in flames, blood splattering a character’s face—and touches that seem not-quite-surreal, and that are all the more unsettling for remaining unexplained, such as the periodic reappearance of a black cat who might be the boy’s familiar.
The Strange Ones is a 2017 American drama film directed by Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein and written by Christopher Radcliff. The film stars Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus, Gene Jones, Owen Campbell and Tobias Campbell. The film was released on DirecTV on December 7, 2017, before being released on video on demand and in theaters on January 5, 2018, by Vertical Entertainment.
The Strange Ones (2018)
Directed by: Christopher Radcliff, Lauren Wolkstein
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus, Gene Jones, Owen Campbell, Tobias Campbell, Marin Ireland, Will Blomker, Cindy Cheung, Allen Fawcett, Betsy Holt, Birgit Huppuch
Screenplay by: Christopher Radcliff
Production Design by: Danica Pantic
Cinematography by: Todd Banhazl
Film Editing by: Christopher Radcliff, Lauren Wolkstein
Costume Design by: Mitchell Travers
Set Decoration by: Megan Whinery
MPAA Rating: R for some disturbing violent images, and brief sexual material.
Distributed by: Vertical Entertainment
Release Date: January 5, 2018