Moore takes on the role of nerdy introvert Mason, an insurance company worker by day and artist by night. His only friend is his boss Berkeley (played by Zachary Levi of Chuck fame), who – for reasons we eventually become aware of – keeps an eye on his bizarre behaviour, which includes panic attacks and visions of him committing acts of murder – something to do with a light behind his bathroom door.
When a co-worker called Amber (Amber Tamblyn) begins to shows an interest in him, Mason seems to find peace from his visions, and soon invites her to sit for a series of paintings. But the more Amber learns of Mason’s past the more she questions her safety.
This is a peculiar film that is difficult to pigeonhole. It has shades of Fight Club (thanks to the strange relationship between the two male leads, Levi’s Berkeley is reminiscent of Pitt’s Tyler Durden except he’s real, while Moore plays Mason as a mix of Napoleon Dynamite crossed with Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates), of Blue Velvet (with its dark, disturbing imagery), and of Roger Corman’s Bucket of Blood (think Dick Miller’s jazz-loving reclusive artist Walter Paisley).
But is this a cult in the making? I’m unsure. It’s difficult to make sense of and somewhat unsettlingly. And I could not understand why a girl like Amber would ever fall for a creepy dork like Mason in the first place.
This is far from your average psycho-thriller. It’s more quirky Donnie Darko-chiller than wannabe American Psycho – but it does has a satisfying twist ending. And you may have to watch it a second time to fully appreciate its strangeness. It also boasts an incredibly moody jazz score than lounge lizards will love.
My verdict: Spiral