Movies like Calibre sort of disappeared after the nineties. Old school slow-burning thrillers with a simple and relatively engaging story. The characters are real and situations plausibly terrifying. They usually deal with familiar concepts and here we will be exploring the infamous city vs country folk paradigm. The most important thing about these movies is the atmosphere and they really nailed it here. It’s palpably intense and the clever writing keeps you on edge as you’re following the story unfolding. There were a couple of necessary suspension-of-belief moments but nothing that would ruin the viewing pleasure.
Calibre is a directorial debut for Matt Palmer and I recommend you keep an eye out for this young and talented director/writer. With very well-written characters there was a need for great performances from our main protagonists and they delivered. Jack Lowden and Martin McCann are both experienced actors and they were terrific here. I should also mention Tony Curran and Ian Pirie, who played their roles pitch-perfect.
This movie basically puts you in the shoes of two guys in a pretty scary situation and you constantly keep thinking about what would you do in their situation. And also following what they’re doing. I also must admit that once the wheels have been set in motion you sort of knew how this is going to end. They tried to combat this with various twists and turns and relatively succeeded. After all, this is a small thriller that should be a jumping board for everyone involved.
Marcus and Vaughn are two best friends who are about to slowly drift apart as they’re starting new chapters in their lives. Vaughn is about to become a dad and Marcus, an in-your-face businessman decides to take him hunting to bond over the weekend. What’s supposed to be a fun and exciting weekend soon turns into something else. Something that will change their lives forever…
Set in Scotland, Calibre features beautiful scenes of untouched and imposing nature. From wide plains to dense forests, you will be transported to the countryside full of history. A place where the modern world is still absent but whether that’s a good thing is a whole different story. This is the thing with these movies, you don’t only have the main story to keep you occupied but also a lot of other motives worth pondering.
There are a lot of great movies with similar themes and although the mind invariably first goes to the classic Deliverance, I think Straw Dogs is a much better fit. And when it comes to newer releases you can check out much more sinister Eden Lake, Them, Hush and Australian gem Wolf Creek. I also can’t help but recommending A Lonely Place to Die, a visually similar movie with a bit different story and a phenomenal soundtrack. I still listen to The Burning of Auchindoun regularly. Enjoy.
Director: Matt Palmer
Writer: Matt Palmer
Cast: Jack Lowden, Martin McCann, Tony Curran, Ian Pirie, Kate Bracken, Therese Bradley, Cameron Jack, Kitty Lovett, Cal MacAninch
Fun Facts: The first and last scene were shot on the same day.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6218358/