Life's not easy, when you're a character played by Cillian Murphy. You're always either struggling to survive in a disease-struck wasteland (28 Days Later), attempting to reignite the sun (Sunshine), having your mind literally invaded by criminals (Inception) - or being tormented by the grownup version of Billy Elliot in the upcoming Retreat.
The domestic Retreat trailer arrived earlier this year, teasing the psychological horror tale with Murphy, Thandie Newton, and Jamie Bell, which looks to be a potentially creepy flick. How does the international trailer make it look, by comparison?
Well, the new theatrical preview for Retreat is a bit more secretive than its predecessor. The driving force behind director Carl Tibbetts' minimalistic thriller is the mystery concerning whether or not Bell's character is a liar and/or insane... or, perhaps even worse, neither. Thankfully, the international trailer doesn't provide a clear answer.
Let's back up a moment and discuss the setup for Retreat: Murphy and Newton play Martin and Kate, a couple attempting to cope with a recent tragedy in their lives by heading out for an island retreat. Soon after they arrive, a bloody-and-bruised man named Jack (Bell) appears, telling them than an airborne virus is spreading across Europe [insert 28 Days Later joke here]. The terrified couple aren't certain whether or not Jack is telling the truth, but one thing quickly becomes obvious: they're not safe around him, regardless.
Now check out the international Retreat trailer (via Empire) below:
Tibbetts appears to have fashioned a slow-burn thriller that uses a classic mystery setup (i.e. people trapped in a house - and one might be a killer) in order to ratchet up the tension and create a horrific situation that parallels that of Martin and Kate's efforts to overcome their own personal pain and emotional trauma. It definitely bears a resemblance, in that sense, to supernatural horror titles like last year's M. Night Shyamalan-produced Devil or the original Spanish-language version of The Orphanage (to a lesser degree).
Retreat could have an advantage over Devil in particular, since the three members of its cast are quite respectable; watching Bell play against type could be refreshing; and it lacks the overt supernatural and religious elements that a lot of people rolled their eyes at in Devil. On the other hand, if you're willing to roll with some of the more borderline campy aspects of Devil, you'll find it's actually a fairly well-constructed and thoughtful scarefest. Retreat, by comparison, might be more of a straightforward (re: uninteresting) tale of terror.
We'll find out for certain when Retreat arrives in U.S. theaters on October 21st, 2011.