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Stars: Emily Foxler, Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Gracen, Maury Sterling, Lorene Scarafia, Lauren Maher, Hugo Armstrong, Alex Manugian

Director: James Ward Byrkit

A highly original sci-fi creepie with some genuinely chilly moments. If it gets a little, well, incoherent towards the end, blame that on the highly-improvised dialogue, as the film was shot without a written screenplay.

The action starts with Em (Foxler, before she married actor Justin Baldoni and changed her billing to Emily Baldoni) driving towards a dinner party with friends. Making a phone call to a boyfriend, she is startled when the signal fades and the face of her mobile cracks.

The dinner itself goes on convivially with Em and seven acquaintances, amid much talk of a powerful comet passing overhead, when there's a bang and the lights go out. Getting out candles and (blue) light sticks, the party peers outside to see only a single house two blocks away with lights still on.

Hugh (Armstrong) and Amir (Manugian) go to investigate, later returning with Hugh having suffered a crack on the head, and carrying a box found in the other house. Inside the box are pictures of the eight people at the party, with numbers on the back.

Unfair to the plot to go into much further detail; suffice to say that, when Amir and Hugo have a conflab later in the film, they reveal their light sticks to be red...

The wobbly camerawork sometimes proves a distraction, but the ad hoc acting's pretty good, with Swedish-born Foxler a standout. Even as the influence of the comet becomes ever more apparent, you'll be hooked to the story to see how it works out.

Unfairly left on the shelf for at least two years, this clever film marks its debut writer/director as a man to watch in the fantasy field - even if he doesn't seem to have done much else since.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour (unspecified).
86 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 10 Feb 2015