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This is like a soup where you start with a few unconventional ingredients and it tastes great, but then you just keep adding different things to the mix and ruin the whole thing.

The beef stock in this recipe is Nicole Kidman, looking like a messenger for the zombie apocalypse. She plays burnt-out cop, Erin Bell, haunted by an episode in her past that has made her a negligent mother, angry cop, and nasty human being. The backstory is given through flashbacks with elements being revealed piecemeal as the film progresses. Meanwhile, we get glimpses of her personal life during tense scenes with her errant teenage daughter and serene ex-husband.

While the film tries to establish a sombre, mordant mood, it self sabotages with non-credible shoot-ups and ‘how can they still be alive?’ pistol whips and deep kicks to the gut. The real flaw, though, is that the central premise is not really that compelling, so it’s hard to feel invested in the journey.

Kudos to Theodore Shapiro for a deliciously eerie score.

★★

 

Reviewed by Rita Bratovich