MARCH 26 » 7:00p

MARCH 28 » 7:30p


2010, USA, 86 min.
Director: Adam Mason Screenwriters: Adam Mason, Simon Boyes
Cast: Andrew Howard, Tess Panzer, Tommy Flanagan, Ian Duncan

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As Cicero said, man is his own worst enemy. In the strange case of Thomas Luster, this adage rings true in the most literal sense.

A troubled businessman, Thomas exudes an unhinged yet harmless air; he’s losing his keys, his libido, and precious sleep everyday. He spends his afternoons prostrating himself to fickle, fabulously rich landscaping clients and his evenings suspicious that his unemployed actor neighbor is making moves on his neglected wife.

Something is deeply disturbing this man and whatever it is, it’s getting worse. Initially, Thomas approaches his problem as a sleep issue. On the advisement of his vagabond friend Les, he buys “sleeping pills” from a car trunk pharmacy, which of course never bodes well. With each pill comes the small victory of a reclaimed night’s sleep, but this is where the trouble really starts.

Suddenly, everything seems cast in a dubious shadow. Strange, ominous notes begin to appear, cautioning Thomas to cease his pill regiment. Is his neighbor waging mental warfare to get with aforementioned neglected, beautiful wifey? He consults Les once again, who offers paranoid theories. Spurred on to beef up his home protection system, Thomas is determined to get to the bottom of this phantom tormentor. And that he does. It reveals nothing to say that Thomas’s aggressor is none other than his own id. But hold back the scoffing and any notion that you’ve seen a film like this; you haven’t.

Adam Mason’s latest feature is his most polished and easily one of the greatest Jekyll and Hyde stories ever told. This psychological thriller beautifully builds up the tension with the darkest sense of humor about the unfolding madness. The lead actor, Andrew Howard, performs his dual role with inspired precision, embodying the meek and the monstrous with indelible presence; this is his career’s Swan Lake and he dances both parts with chilling, pitch-perfect transcendence.

— Nicole McConvery


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