THRILLER; 1hr 41min
STARRING: Steve Le Marquand, Mark Leonard Winter, Tilda Cobham-Hervey
Father figure: Le Marquand (left, with Winter)
Psychiatrist Travis (Winter) is losing it over the suicide of a patient. He attempts to throttle a man in therapy, makes a flouncy, unnecessary exit from his job and while pilled up and wildly drunk, broods over what has happened. Winter has an aptly haunted face for brooding and he’s in for an inordinate amount of it after Travis ODs and is rescued by the members of a countryside South Australian cult overseen by the magnetic Father Jay (the always commanding Le Marquand; Cobham-Hervey is unnerving as a drifty recruiter).
If that port of call sounds cosy, it’s anything but, with the controlling Jay running a militaristic and emotionally excoriating ship. “You’ve been hiding behind your addiction,” he informs Travis, not unreasonably. Disconnected from his raging guilt, Travis needs help, all right, but is Jay’s “community” a buffer zone or a deathtrap? Tunnelling through a stratum of shadows, first-time feature director and co-writer Nick Matthews spares nobody in a doomsday play-out that could have been torn from headline news. With needling purpose, One Eyed Girl probes the extremities of pain, whose victims see the truths they they need to see, no matter how risky and imprisoning.