Apathy is deadly. In our current violent culture where muggings, assault and even murder can happen in a crowded public place in broad daylight, standing by as a silent observer can be as bad as plunging the knife in or pulling the trigger.
Opening with a series of news reports showing brutal beatings and terrible violence all filmed on a phone by someone who failed to step in and highlighting how no one else helped either, Don’t Look Back centres around Caitlin (Kourtney Bell) whose father is killed in front of her in a home invasion.
Left for dead herself 9 months later Caitlin is still experiencing hallucinations and panic attacks due to the traumatising tragedy. Out running one day in a local park she witnesses her worst nightmare all over again as a fatal attack takes place in front of her very eyes. Standing still along with several other bystanders she is paralysed by fear but manages to overcome her inability to act and grabs a nearby man’s phone, that he is using to record the attack, to call the police.
Racked with guilt she goes to a vigil for the victim held by his brother Lucas (Daredevil’s Will Stout) where Caitlin discovers the man who was murdered was a big figure in the community known for his charity work and homeless shelters.
Seeing visions of the dead fellow she feels she failed to save things get even stranger when one of the other witnesses commits suicide. With the police still hunting the killer, Lucas on the rampage to get the identities of the group that watched his brother die and some sort of karmic force reaping revenge, Caitlin must work out exactly what is going on around her before its too late.
Written by Jeffrey Reddick the creator of the fantastic Final Destination series Don’t Look Back, originally titled Good Samaritan, marks his first time directing a feature which comes as a huge surprise seeing how well made the movie is.
Much like his famous series Reddick’s story perfectly balances elements of the supernatural and murder mystery keeping the audience guessing all the way till the end. Throwing in religion, ghosts, spirituality, karma and survivors guilt there is plenty to unpack and the power of the movie is to make you think as much as it is to entertain and scare.
Avoiding being a preachy message movie Reddick is fully aware that it is not as simple as those that act in these horrific situations are good and those that don’t are bad because no one truly knows another persons life experiences. This is deftly demonstrated when Caitlin breaks down and apologises to Lucas for not stopping his brothers slaying as she also explains what happened in her past completely justifying her actions or lack of.
The film excellently expands upon our assumptions digging into the true motives for peoples actions and revealing much more about the characters than we first thought taking us on a twisted trip to the final act where all is revealed.
A gripping and thrilling horror film about grief and social responsibility that jangles the nerves as much as it feeds the mind Jeffrey Reddick is a truly great talent and I can’t wait for what he has in store for us next.
Read Five FrightFest Facts From Jeffrey Reddick director of Don’t Look HERE