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Tribeca Film Festival Review: Familiar Thriller 'Replicas' Boasts Strong Leads

Thompson on Hollywood By David D'Arcy | Thompson on Hollywood April 22, 2012 at 3:07PM

If you’re out in the woods in a mansion, don’t open the door to strangers. If you do, and you happen to be in a movie, prepare to be at the wrong end of a shotgun.
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'Replicas'
'Replicas'

If you’re out in the woods in a mansion, don’t open the door to strangers. If you do, and you happen to be in a movie, prepare to be at the wrong end of a shotgun. (Clip is here.)

“Replicas,” the feature debut of Jeremy Power Regimbal, is a thriller about a family that is held hostage in its own dream house. Selma Blair and Josh Close play a rich couple, Mark and Mary Hughes, who just lost a daughter in a car accident. They take to the country with their son to recover. What seemed like a good idea turns into horror in Close’s script. Early one morning another couple (James D’Arcy and Rachel Miner) with their son (Alex Ferris) arrives, bringing wood and asking uncomfortable questions. Things get worse when the strange couple’s son puts a knife to the other boy’s throat. Soon, the rich couple’s dog is shot, they’re held at gunpoint, and torture tightens the screws.

It sounds a bit like “Straw Dogs,” even more like “Funny Games” by Michael Haneke, but if you get beyond the quoting, and there are volumes of it, you’ll see surprising emotional range from Selma Blair, and an unsettling jittery fury from James D’Arcy (no relation), as a psychopath who decides that he is the real Mark Hughes. Both Blair and D’Arcy will get praise for these roles.
 

This article is related to: Reviews, Reviews, Tribeca Film Festival, Festivals, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.