Daylight confirms your worst fears about hitchhikers, but it's less predictable about the work of kidnappers. David Barker's (Afraid of Everything) exceedingly spare and taut psychological thriller gets right to the ugly business of kidnapping, as Daniel (Aidan Redmond) and pregnant wife Irene (Alexandra Meierhans) drive into the countryside to attend a wedding. The pregnancy seems to be straining their relationship, and the eerie silence suggests more about the situation than what little they say.
Soon lost, they stop to ask a man for directions, and he offers to guide them in return for a ride. He quickly draws a knife and the couple is taken to a remote farmhouse. Kidnappers Renny (Michael Godere) and Leo (Ivan Martin) are scruffy, menacing and alternately calm or fidgety. As simple as their ruse is, they sometimes don't seem to have a thought-out plan, which makes the predicament more open-ended and terrifying. If they weren't out for a ransom then what were their intentions?
Irene is not restrained, leaving open the possibility she could flee. As far along in her pregnancy as she is, however, it's not likely she would get anywhere quickly. And would that be a choice between her husband and the baby?
She is extremely vulnerable, and Barker effectively manipulates the uncomfortable tension. Renny asks to listen to the baby, and as he becomes slightly more protective of her, Leo develops a more unseemly interest. As Irene comes between the two men, the situation gets volatile. Throughout the film, Barker relies on understatement and chilling implications and delivers a tense thriller. There will be a Q&A via Skype with Barker following Friday's screening. Tickets $7 general admission, $6 students/seniors, $5 Zeitgeist members. — Will Coviello
9:30 p.m. Fri.-Thu.
Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 827-5858; www.zeitgeistinc.net