Repeaters Carl Bessai

Repeaters Carl Bessai
It's nearly impossible to talk about Repeaters without at least offhandedly mentioning Groundhog Day. While the two films are vastly different in tone, they share almost the identical premise: existential complications involved in repeating the same day over and over again. The surrogate Bill Murrays in Repeaters are a trio of young former addicts living at a treatment facility who wake up to the same day repeatedly after simultaneously experiencing an electric shock. Kyle (Dustin Milligan) is the tortured, sensitive soul who attempts to use his metaphysical day pass to right some wrongs, Mike (Richard de Klerk) is the eventual psychopath who lets his id run wild, fulfilling numerous Grand Theft Auto-style fantasies, and Sonia (Amanda Crew) is the token love interest. The looped day is a so-called "reconciliation day," when everyone in treatment has a day pass to try and right the wrongs of their addicted pasts. On their first day, our crew is wholly unsuccessful, unable to smooth things over with their angry families, thus ending up in a waking nightmare of repetition. At first, the three are enthralled by the possibility of consequence-free fun, but that soon turns to moody brooding when they grapple with the psychological consequences of having no consequences. Director Carl Bessai has come to specialize in gritty thrillers with an injection of meaty human drama. Repeaters is considerably more angsty than your average time-twister; it's an allegory for the tension between freedom and responsibility that takes a sharp turn when Sonia cheats death by accidentally falling over the side of a dam. Suddenly the repeaters are capable of resurrection and each day becomes a new game of cat & mouse and bad vs. good, as Mike wanders over to the dark side and Kyle tries to second-guess his every move. There's a lot of yelling, screaming and crying that goes along with it, as everyone tries to sort out their primal emotions and overwhelming guilt, and that's refreshing, in a way, but gets a little oppressive. The DVD package is bare, which is a shame. A behind-the-scenes featurette with input from the cast and director might have helped the film to breathe a little. (Alliance)