By Don Simpson | April 23, 2012
Director: Jeremy Regimbal
Writer: Joshua Close
Starring: Selma Blair, Joshua Close, James D’Arcy, Rachel Miner, Quinn Lord, Alex Ferris
Jeremy Regimbal’s Replicas is a perfect example of things not always being what they seem. For one, the characters each have their own reasons for not divulging information about themselves; they are not satisfied with their true selves, so they create facades to hide behind. This also makes it easier for certain characters to morph personality traits throughout the film. The film itself is also not what it seems to be. I naively entered Replicas assuming that it was either a sci-fi or horror film — I found myself impatiently awaiting the arrival of aliens or monsters — but Replicas is neither. Though it does utilize some narrative tropes of the horror genre, Replicas is quite simply an intensely claustrophobic, six character thriller.
Mark (Joshua Close) and Mary (Selma Blair) — with their nine year old son Brendon (Quinn Lord) in tow — have retreated to their lavish vacation home in the mountains to recover from the tragic death of their daughter. Peace and quiet is the only thing on their minds — even talking among themselves does not seem to factor into the equation. Early one morning, a strange threesome — Bobby (James D’Arcy), Jane (Rachel Miner) and Jared (Alex Ferris) — arrive on the back patio to deliver a welcoming gift of firewood. It takes a while for Mark to begin to warm up (mind the pun) to their gift and lower his guard; but once he does, Bobby and his family instantly ingratiate themselves into Mark and his family’s home.
For most of the film, it is difficult not to side with Bobby’s family. For one, they obviously exist a few levels down on the economic and intellectual food chain. While Mark and Mary come off as stereotypically cold, snooty and rude urban elitists; Bobby and Jane appear to be simple, working class folk. Despite their apparent jovial nature, Bobby and Jane make it abundantly clear that they want to become more like Mark and Mary. But why — is their uncommunicative and unhappy family something that is really worth striving for?