Wel­come wave of mad­ness

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH caugh­tin­side.com.au Now show­ing State Cinema

YOU may have to hunt high and low to find a cinema screen­ing of this qual­ity low-bud­get Aus­tralian thriller, but the ef­fort will be well and truly worth it.

The trump card played so im­pres­sively by Caught In­side is a spec­tac­u­larly un­hinged lead per­for­mance from Ben Ox­en­bould.

You might re­mem­ber this guy from ser­vices ren­dered on dead-end lo­cal TV pro­duc­tions such as Com­edy Inc and Hey Dad..!, but I can guar­an­tee you’ll see him in a whole new sin­is­ter light af­ter you catch his mag­nif­i­cent work here.

Ox­en­bould plays a psy­cho­pathic surfer dude named The Bull, who spends the film ru­in­ing an In­done­sian wave-rid­ing hol­i­day for a group of Aus­tralian youths.

What tips The Bull ( one of those nut-jobs who will re­fer to him­self in the third per­son ev­ery other sen­tence) over the edge? The sud­den in­tro­duc­tion of some women on to what was sup­posed to be an all-bloke surf­ing trip.

With ten­sions al­ready high due to the cramped con­di­tions aboard the group’s char­ter boat ( skip­pered by an amus­ingly surly Peter Phelps), a sleazy in­ci­dent in­volv­ing a pretty pas­sen­ger stirs up a tsunami of mad­ness in The Bull.

First-time film­maker Adam Blaik­lock knows he is on a win­ner with Ox­en­bould’s un­set­tling per­for­mance, which can zip from fright­en­ing to funny and back again with as­ton­ish­ing speed.

So when Caught In­side fi­nally de­scends into an ex­pected them-ver­sus-him free-for-all in the fi­nal act, it is Ox­en­bould’s wickedly wonky way with an im­pro­vised line that keeps the whole thing fresh.

A well-cho­sen sup­port cast, led by Daisy Betts and Si­mon Lyn­don, will si­lence any ac­cu­sa­tions this might be a D-grade Dead Calm.

It most cer­tainly is not.

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