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World Premiere

  • Drama
  • /
  • U.K.
  • /
  • 2011
  • /
  • 90 min
  • /
  • HD
  • /
  • English
Retreat Retreat Retreat Retreat Retreat Retreat Retreat

World Premiere

Hosted by Writer/Director Carl Tibbetts

Screening Times


Director: Carl Tibbetts
Screenplay: Carl Tibbetts, Janice Hallett
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Jamie Bell, Thandie Newton
Producers: Gary Sinyor
Print Source: Sony Pictures



Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton star as the very star-crossed Kate and Martin, a married couple who venture to a faraway island retreat in the hopes of mending some considerable interpersonal wounds. Their island of choice, Blackholme, is the perfect place for people who want to get away from everything. It is entirely unpopulated, the single cottage they are staying in being the only real living space on the rock. Their privacy is soon rudely interrupted when an unconscious, blood-spattered man (Jamie Bell) washes ashore. They bring him into the cottage and try to help. He awakens, with terrifying news: a lethal viral plague has broken out across Europe. It is airborne, and there is no hope of survival once infected. Others will surely be coming to this island soon. They will be desperate and very likely, they will be infectious. In an impulsive state of panic, the couple agree to barring up the residence, smashing furniture for scrap to nail all windows, doors and openings closed. They were the only people on the island. Are they now the only ones in all of Europe? The man they’ve now essentially barricaded themselves in with becomes increasingly aggressive and predatory. A bad situation turns much, much worse.

A tense, take-no-prisoners thriller that slyly twists its audience through a riveting series of whiplash crashes and confrontations, RETREAT is a positively fierce directorial debut from Carl Tibbetts, who also co-scripted. With shades of STRAW DOGS, DEAD CALM and RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR and a cast that hits it out of the park with uniformly gutting and honest performances, Tibbetts has burst in from out of nowhere to unleash one of this year’s strongest discoveries. A deeply frightening film and an enthralling dramatic thriller, RETREAT dissects relationship dynamics and the shifting power roles that lurk inside them with razor-sharp calculation and ingenuity. The film is particularly staggering in the ways in which it literalizes questions of space and boundaries to a nightmarish effect. Like a terrible kind of Chinese Box, the film’s island retreat is cut off from the rest of the world, the boarded-up home at the centre of the story is cut off from the island, and the three inhabitants are increasingly cut off from each other. Fear blossoms like a virus. Instinct blackens perception. Everyone’s world falls apart — internally and externally. A smartly staged, slow-burn pressure cooker that builds to absolutely ferocious horror, this is one hell of a film.

—Mitch Davis

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