Out of the Blue (4 stars)

Out of the Blue

(15) 99min (Metrodome)


Robert Scarfies Sarkies’ drama based on a real life massacre that occurred in a small New Zealand seaside village, begins with a deceptively gentle and elegiac portrayal of small town life, before its explosion of shocking violence. This quiet, rather sweet-natured opening is the secret of the film’s astonishing effect later on.

In it we meet David Gray (Matthew Sunderland), a disaffected outsider dwelling in a beachside shack with his high-powered guns, whose sudden shift to an arson and killing spree is both gradual and ominous. As a police siege ends in more fatalities, the sense of ordinary lives disrupted and destroyed is the source of the film’s power. Sunderland’s performance is chillingly observed, while there’s no shortage of pathos in Lois Lawn’s little old lady hiding in her kitchen as the killer stalks around the village randomly murdering all about him. There’s nothing in the way of extras.