I don't have a lot of rules in life - but these two are ironclad. I love driving through tunnels - it's fun and relatively safe. I have thought, while in bumper to bumper traffic halfway through the Holland Tunnel, that this is how it will end for me. A cascade of grey, chunky-style water falling onto my noggin while listening to the best of Seals and Crofts. But aside from that, driving through a tunnel is a delight. Walking through a tunnel? - Not my table. There are many walking tunnels spread out through LA - I'd rather cross the 5, even at night. Okay, that's not true but those dark tunnels freak me out. And Mike Flanagan's first feature, Absentia, preys on that fear. It's a great ultra-low budget feature that has two fully developed female lead characters who are fighting their own demons. It takes the mundane, and gives it a dash of creep. I've seen this movie twice and I can tell why it put Flanagan on the map.
Flanagan has graduated to bigger films: Hush, Oculus, Before I Wake, among others. Gerald's Game, based on a Stephen King book, is a great character study with Carla Gugino simply great as the lead. Her husband, played by the always good Bruce Greenwood, wants to spice up their love life by handcuffing her to the bedposts. Then things go south quickly. You would think it would be hard to get 100 minutes out of that premise, but King did it. And so does Flanagan. A match made in heaven, these two. I hope it happens again. I have a few Flanagan films to check out - I will do so. He's good - you should too. Okay, thanks for reading. Now, if I can only find that stupid key. - Mark