The bond between mother and child is a strong and universally recognized one. Writer/director Justin Edgar (The Marker) makes use of that in his new film Stalked, (shot as Unseen), as a single mother must fight not only for her life but to get back to her child. And if she has to fight an invisible captor to do so, so be it. Can it give an edge to an otherwise overly familiar plot?
Sam (Rebecca Rogers) is a Royal Marine and also a single mother. When her child’s father can’t help she’s forced to leave him alone long enough to run to the pharmacy. Instead of a quick trip, however, she ends up in a warehouse and stalked by something or someone she can’t see.
After seeing another woman stabbed to death by her unseen foe she realizes the seriousness of her situation. She meets another captive, Tess (Nathalie Buscombe) who’s a nurse. Can they work together and get out alive?
Stalked tips its hand early as to the nature of the threat, so I’m not dropping a spoiler by saying it’s a man (Laurence Saunders, Monochrome, The Snarling) using a prototype military invisibility suit. Who he is and what he’s doing with that Predator-like tech does make for a nice reveal though. And that’s where the film shines, in its inventiveness.
Sam is shown to be resourceful from the start, so we know she’ll find a way out of the warehouse eventually. How to keep her from escaping when she does? Well, this is a military contractor’s facility so how about an armed drone? That and the repeated threats to kill her daughter keep her playing his game. And the fact she’s a combat engineer means she can use what’s available to her advantage as she fights back.
The lack of budget does get in the way of fully realizing the invisibility angle, but Stalked does a fair job of working around that as well. A lot of it is shot from the killer’s point of view. And he’s enjoying playing with and tormenting his victims. So he’s willing to let them see him when it suits his purpose. All of which help to keep the budget under control.
I do wish a bit more money had been put into sound though. The effects applied to the killer’s voice make him impossible to understand what he’s saying. The dialogue isn’t anything that profound, but not being able to make it out is annoying.
It also helps that Stalked runs a fast 82 minutes so there isn’t a lot of time for things to become stale. Or to notice some of the plot holes. Unlike a lot of films Stalked shows up, delivers some thrills and gets out.
Stalked is available in the UK via Central City Media. A US release is planned for February from Uncork’d Entertainment.