A suggestion to theatres screening Jason R. Goode’s Numb: your audience may thank you for turning down the air conditioning. Numb is so effective through its chilly and disorienting environment, movie goers can actually feel the elements leaping off the screen.
Goode accomplishes a lot with his feature film debut, but the film’s use of outdoors will garner the most talk. Numb’s four leads willingly put themselves through excruciatingly frigid weather to search for gold coins that will solve their financial woes. Will and Dawn (Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber and Stefanie von Pfetten of CBC’s Cracked) have suffered from poor circumstances, while hitchhikers Lee and Cheryl (Aleks Paunovic of TV’s Continuum and Tracers’ Marie Avgeropoulos) dream of being millionaires. Despite their differences and Cheryl’s mouthy attitude, the desperate characters trek through the wilderness while following GPS coordinates they retrieved off a frozen drifter.
Numb is a surefire nail-biter through the tense and dicey dynamic between characters. They agree to work together, but are not afraid to turn on each other either. Andre Harden’s screenplay also has the ability to portray each personality in a well-rounded way. For instance, Lee may be an intimidating muscle, but the fear that drives his rabid demeanour is comprehendible when he witnesses Cheryl’s body gradually breaking down.
It’s also worth mentioning that Harden and Goode are able to flawlessly manipulate setting and time using cunning key dialogue and an incredible makeup department. It’s particularly hard to make a walk through the woods consistently intriguing, even if there are large stakes involved. However, Numb maintains our interest by having us witness the challenging wear and tear of bruising skin and subtle descending daylight (which also speaks volumes about the film’s continuity).
Numb is a tragic treasure hunt with riveting thrills. Purchase your admission and bundle up.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie