SXSW FILM 2011
By Don Simpson | May 21, 2011
Director: Adam Blaiklock
Writers: Adam Blaiklock, Matt Tomaszewski, Joe Velikovsky
Starring: Ben Oxenbould, Daisy Betts, Sam Lyndon, Simon Lyndon, Leeanna Walsman, Harry Cook, Peter Phelps
Caught Inside is a not-so-tall tale of how rationally real (not reel) people would react to a brutish man like Bull (Ben Oxenbould). I am getting ahead of myself though, so please allow me to back my ass up a bit… A group of impeccably attractive Aussie blokes charter a private boat — the aptly named Hedonist — captained by Skipper Joe (Peter Phelps) for a surfing safari to a remote island located somewhere off the coast of Thailand with radical swells and tubular breaks; Bull is along for the ride because he is the key to finding the clandestine locale. It is supposed to be a guys only escapade, but Toobs (Simon Lyndon) brings along his girlfriend Alex (Leeanna Walsman) and her scrumptiously seductive friend, Sam (Daisy Betts).
Sanctimoniously sculpted bodies bronze, Fosters flow and hormones hit hysteria, as the Hedonist sails further and further into white-capped isolation. Hours away from anyone of authority, Sam’s scantily clad, idyllic frame sets all of the guys’ loins-a-blazing. Bull interprets Sam’s teasing nature (as well as her celluloid past) as a free pass to do as he pleases with her; Rob (Sam Lyndon) is also smitten with Sam, but not as aggressively so. When Bull finally takes advantage of a moment alone with Sam, Rob and the guys try to take Bull by the horns; but no one on the boat — despite the preponderance of finely chiseled six-packs — can match up to Bull’s muscularly menacing presence.
Ben Oxenbould (Black Water) plays Bull with a cool, calm and collected intensity; that is until he blows his hormonal- and testosterone-riddled head, thus triggering a mad descent into a Hulk-ish rampage. In an odd sort of way, Bull appears to be crafted as a roided-up version of Cape Fear‘s Max Cady (Robert Mitchum).
Caught Inside is a pressure cooker of a thriller that never comes close to reaching a boiling point; but upon close inspection of the film’s pace and structure, this seems to be a purposeful tactic on behalf of writer-director Adam Blaiklock. Blaiklock is significantly more interested in capturing realism than eliciting any thrills or chills. The fight scenes are by no means choreographed or gratuitously staged; there are no irrational twists in the narrative logic, even though there is always one looming. Unfortunately, Blaiklock’s tactics — though quite commendable — are rendered a wipe out, as Caught Inside barely generates a ripple of suspense. Nonetheless, Oxenbould’s performance is as impressive as tsunami, pummeling the audience with his bullish screen presence.