"Somewhere Quiet"

‘Somewhere Quiet’ Review: Jennifer Kim Leads Wannabe ‘Get Out’ Who Misunderstands Trauma

“Somewhere Quiet” never has a strong message, and that’s just one of the many abuses of a grand concept and haunting cast that plagues the would-be psychological thriller. The feature film, written and directed by Olivia West Lloyd, stars Jennifer Kim as Meg, a woman who has recently escaped a kidnapping and is trying to get back to normal life with her husband Scott (Kentucker Adler).

Since Scott’s family comes from old money, Meg was held hostage for months until she managed to escape her captors. Yet Scott’s suggestion for Meg’s relaxation of her involves taking her back to a remote setting, to take care of her family’s old beach house. He adds his mischievous cousin Madeline (a delightfully distraught Marin Ireland) and Meg suddenly becomes a third wheel in yet another tense environment.

Is she just nervous or is Scott checking? Are Madeline’s flirtations with both Scott and Meg fueled by her fetishization of Meg’s Korean heritage? Scott’s family have framed photographs of missionary work in Korea, and Scott sleepwalks to where the photos are. Meg continues to have nightmares questioning Scott’s motives for keeping her isolated, but her racial component is never fully addressed, nor is Meg’s growing paranoia amid her apparent PTSD.

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Her only interaction with anyone outside of Scott’s family is with handyman Joe (Micheál Neeson) who warns her of trespassing on the property, before she realizes she’s actually married to one of the Whitmans who own most of the property. surrounding land. However, Meg can’t trust Joe either, as her suspicions about Madeline’s true identity and Scott’s possible involvement in her kidnapping wreak havoc on her sense of stability.

Writer-director Lloyd served as production manager on “Shirley,” the Shirley Jackson biopic starring Elizabeth Moss. The indie “do more with less” approach to horror is evident in “Somewhere Quiet,” as Meg begins to find clues that her nightmares aren’t dreams at all. However, the film doesn’t delve deep enough into any of the many compelling themes it presents in the first act, and instead audiences are left with a convenient lifetime mystery of the weekly conclusion that sums up too neatly what could have been a disturbing depiction of colonization, illusion , wealth and home deconstruction amidst trauma.

Grade: B-

“Somewhere Quiet” premiered at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival. It is currently seeking distribution in the United States.