Is there anything more frustrating for a film fan than sitting through a movie that seems to have done all the hard work, only to leave you with that nagging feeling it should be so much better?

That’s certainly how I felt as the credits rolled on Radius, a film that has one hell of set-up and an opening half, only to collapse into a maelstrom of contrivances and coincidences with the end in sight.

It’s certainly still watchable – and even recommended – but oh-so close to being must-see material.

The opening is a crackerjack one – Liam (Homeland’s Diego Klattenhoff) wakes up bloodied in his crashed car, unsure of where he is – or how he got there.

Even more sinisterly, as he stumbles along the road looking for clues, Liam finds a clutch of dead bodies scattered around, all with a glazed expression that suggests they have been caught in some sort of deadly reaction.

At first Liam assumes there may be some disease in the atmosphere, only to eventually realise that HE is the cause of these deaths, as anyone (or thing – even birds are affected) who comes within a set radius collapses stone dead.

Why? Well, that’s for Liam to work out, and that first chunk of the film is pure Stephen King/Dean Koontz – an uneasy, pitch black opening that forces the viewer to align themselves with Liam and share his confusion and paranoia.

The scenes of wasteland, contorted bodies and air of mystery is perfectly pitched by the directorial team of Caroline Labreche and Steeve Leonard, and I have absolutely no problem admitting the first half hour of this totally reeled me in.

Things take a turn when Liam comes across Jane (Charlotte Sullivan), who can not only survive being in his company, but with whom he seems to share some sort of connection, a connection that may provide the answers he has been searching for…..

Radius is all good on the acting front, with Klattenhoff an effective lead, his muscular presence effectively dimmed by the totally ‘out-there’ situation he finds himself in. Sullivan also delivers the goods, and when the pair join forces to try and unravel just what is happening to them the film is in very good shape.

However, once things do start to fall into place and Labreche and Leonard elect to replace mystery with revelation Radius starts coming apart at the seams, although credit does have to be given for a finale that at least mirrors the mood of the film’s effective opening.

Don’t get me wrong, Radius is still worth checking out, and at least tries something a bit different, but for me this goes down as a missed opportunity.

Horror Channel Frightfest Review: Radius
3.0Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.