Steve Stone’s (The Entity, Deus) 2017 offering “In Extremis” (aka Point of Death) – why the name was changed remains a mystery to me – opens with a somber narration delivered by lead actor David O’Hara (Doomsday, Wanted, Braveheart).
Alex (O’Hara) is a high powered businessman who works in London while his family live in a house in some undisclosed rural part of England. It is made plain that he rarely sees them, spending most of his time working in London which has put a strain on his relationship with his family. On arriving home it quickly becomes apparent that strange things are afoot (at the Circle K?) as a huge and strange storm rolls in and cuts the family off from the outside world.
Alex begins hearing and seeing things that aren’t there, daughter Anna (Isabelle Allen) and wife Claudia (Lisa Gormley) also beginning to both say ominous things as well as randomly appearing and disappearing around the house whenever Alex turns his back.
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While made with a somewhat modest budget by today’s standards, the visual effects are nicely presented, with the storm being appropriately otherworldly and eerie, and the encroaching darkness and strange figures ramping up the creepy factor. Speaking of creepy, it should be made clear that this is not a horror movie as such. This is a film where strange things happen, where nothing is entirely as it seems and the atmosphere is one of paranoia and tension, but there are only a handful of scenes that could be described as anything close to horrific.
The performances are a mixed bag, with there being little in the way of chemistry between Alex and his family. Although this works in the long run as it helps to accentuate his disconnection from their lives and his prioritising of his job over his relationship with them. David O’Hara is always a joy to watch (though sometimes there is an odd mental disconnect when comparing the man he is now to the manic, grinning Stephen from Braveheart who cheerfully talked to God). He sells Alex as a man both angry and confused, veering from rage to grief and then back again as the world twists and shifts around him and leaves him adrift.
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Isabelle Allen suffers from the same sort of issue that affects many younger actors, in that the dialogue they are given simply doesn’t sound like anything you would hear coming from the mouth of a child. Much of her delivery is flat and lifeless and while she might have been trying to go for “spooky” in later scenes it doesn’t quite work.
All in all, this is a difficult film to say a great deal about. It is solidly… fine. Just fine. Adequate. Average. Neither particularly good, nor particularly bad, it instead settles on being simply forgettable.
Point of Death is available now on digital download.