It's as if the characters in Nash Edgerton's gritty noirish thriller have never seen ... well, a gritty nourish thriller. It's bad enough that Ray (David Roberts) and Carla (Claire van der Boom), neighbors in a small Australian community, are having an affair. But when Claire sneaks home from an assignation and spies her brutish husband, Smithy (Anthony Hayes), hiding a bag of cash in the ceiling -- well, no good can possibly come of this.
But as sure as sparks fly upward (why yes, there will be a fire), Ray and Carla decide the money is their ticket out.
Things go from bad to worse to borderline insane. Some of the plot is well telegraphed (occasionally, too well), but Edgerton also enjoys the out-of-left-field jolt. The overall story -- of lies, betrayals and fixes that cause more trouble -- is familiar, but fans of such films (Blood Simple, A Simple Plan) should enjoy this outing, a worthy debut feature.
Also screening with The Square is "Spider," a short film from Edgerton that should resonate with anybody who's tried to negotiate a quarrel while driving. (The eagle-eyed should look for a shout-out to "Spider" in The Square.) Director Edgerton is scheduled to follow the July 9 and 10 evening shows with a Q&A. Starts Fri., July 9. Harris