Sunday, February 2, 2014

Repeaters (2011)



Let me give you a little bit of insight into how I make the schedule for the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  I do have a schedule set up for much longer than the four weeks that I let all of you readers in on.  The movies that I choose are picked out months in advance.  I pull the titles out of a list that I have built over the past year and change.  There are many ways that the movies get put on that list.  I can find out the movie exists, or already know it exists, and think it would fit in the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  There are the suggestions that people have given me during the time I’ve been writing these blog posts.  Some movies are also found on some DVD movie sets that I bought for cheap at different stores.  That’s the list that I use for the majority of the schedule.  But there are a few exceptions on the schedule that I throw into it based on the fact that they ended up on Netflix, they were released on video close to the post date, or they are a movie related to the day.  The movie this week ended up in the schedule because of that last criteria.

As you can see, today is Groundhog Day.  There is a rather popular movie with the same name as this day, set on this day.  That’s not a bad movie.  Nope.  Not at all.  When I found out that this Sunday was Groundhog Day, I wanted to find a movie that would be good for today specifically.  Since I couldn’t use the Bill Murray classic, I had to find another movie.  I don’t know any other movies about this day.  Therefore, I went with a movie that used the same sort of plot device.  I settled on a movie I had seen once before called Repeaters.

Released in 2011, Repeaters is a Canadian movie directed by Carl Bessai.  It’s about a group of young adults in a rehabilitation center, trapped on the same day for an endless amount of time.  Kyle (Dustin Milligan), Sonia (Amanda Crew), and Michael (Richard de Klerk) use the additional time to abuse certain laws and overcome some of the relationship issues in their lives.

The first thing that you notice when you turn on Repeaters is the look of the movie.  It looks as modernly Canadian as it possibly can.  I would compare the look of Repeaters to an early season episode of Supernatural, the WB/CW television show.  The movie looks dark which does sort of match the tone of the story being told.  But it still makes for something a little more ugly and gritty to look at, which isn’t necessarily a pleasant thing.  If there was one thing that I would give a negative review to in the movie it would be the look.  It only goes to ruin the impact of the story being told.

There’s an intriguing idea in the story of the film.  Three different people with their own personal problems have different reactions to the fact that they are reliving the same day over and over again.  It is an interesting psychological study.  It shows the audience how people will respond differently based on their past experiences and what those experiences have done to them.  It expands upon that idea by giving the audience insight into the regrets, and possibly lack thereof, of exploiting a time loop.  Not that too many people have ever experienced a time loop.  But really, it’s about taking control of your destiny, your fate, and making yourself into what you moralistically want to be.  It’s a theme that everybody can relate to in one way or another, even if the story might be nowhere near anything that you have gone through in the past.

This sense of differing levels of regret over the actions in the time loop is displayed well by the cast of Repeaters.  Dustin Milligan expertly portrays a young adult who has lived in a drunken and stoned stupor, overcoming his addictions to possibly stop other people from suffering the same fate.  Amanda Crew establishes a character with a dark past in her family relationships and makes the audience feel bad for her, and feel good when she overcomes these issues.  Richard de Klerk delves into insanity in a way that I don’t tend to see in lower budgeted direct-to-video films.  His performance brings hints of fear into the movie, making it more than a simple tale of overcoming the past to make a better future.  He’s the wrench thrown into the gears, and he makes the struggle that much more fulfilling.  A lot of it comes down to his performance.

I do believe that Repeaters is worth a watch.  It won’t be a great drama that will be remembered in the generations that come after this.  It is an interesting little thriller that might resonate with you in one way or another.  It’s better that we remember the decent quality filmmaking of it now, rather than have it forgotten forever.  It deserves an audience.  I hope that I just got one for it.
Here are a few notes that I would like to make before you head off to do whatever it is you do in your life:

  • Michael Adamthwaite and Teach Grant made appearances in Repeaters.  They also showed up in The Marine 3: Homefront.
  • In the post, I did say that this movie was direct-to-video.  After looking at the release date, I see that it did have a limited Canadian theatrical release.
  • If you have any suggestions for the Sunday “Bad” Movies, leave a comment.  Come on.  You know you want to.  Or you could message me on Twitter because that’s cool too.

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