What Is an Aseptic White Room Thriller?

Julian Richings in Cube

  The simple answer to the question “what is an aseptic white room thriller” (AWRT) is Cube, Vincenzo Natali’s cult Canadian sci-fi movie from 1997. More abstractly, it’s a film that takes place on a single set, usually white though not necessarily. Lighting will be clean, clinical, fairly devoid of shadow. Soundtrack music will be scarce or absent. As for sound design, a background hum of air-conditioning is standard. Clanking, the whooshing of doors, “noises off”. It’s the plot that is most definitive. In the AWRT no one really knows what’s going on. Typically the film opens with the characters who don’t know each other waking up somewhere far from home, to find … Read more

6 May 2013-05-06

Naomi Watts in The Impossible

The Impossible (Entertainment One, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) The Spanish have an appetite for mutilation. Look at bullfighting, or the bloody effigies of the crucified Jesus Christ in their churches. And though this film is entirely in the English language, it has a Spanish director, writer and production money behind it. It’s very much a Spanish film. So, parking my misgivings about a drama wrought from the 2004 tsunami in the bay marked “Anglo Saxon squeamishness”, let’s turn to the story of the nice family who copped the big wave while on holiday in Thailand. It’s based on a Spanish family’s true experiences and does at least put a human face on the tragedy. … Read more