Eye For Film >> Movies >> Numb (2017) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
If you heard that there was a stash of gold coins worth $4m out in a patch of wilderness not far from where you were, would you go looking for it? If so, how long would you search for? What hardships and risks would you endure? Would you be capable of deciding that enough was enough and you should go home, knowing that somebody else might find it?
Your answer might depend on your financial situation. For Will (Jamie Bamber) and Dawn (Stefanie von Pfetten), times are tough. He knows it better than she does; he's been trying to hide the full extent of their troubles from her, so now it's creating problems in their relationship, too. One night, on a lonely road, they pick up a couple of hitchhikers, Lee (Aleks Paunovic) and Cheryl (Marie Avgeropoulos). Lee is a big guy; Cheryl is a mouthy young woman. Dawn is a little intimidated, wary - she has presumably seen films about hitchhikers - but Will doesn't believe it would be right to leave anyone stranded in the cold. When they stop for a third hitchhiker, the dangers of the weather become clear - the old man is already far gone with hypothermia and he dies before they can get him to a hospital. Lee checks his pockets for ID. In so doing, he finds a map and a single gold coin.
What follows is an expedition in search what Cheryl identifies as a long lost robbers' cache, which the four hope to find before the local police catch on. It's only a 30-mile trip, most of which can be made by car. Beyond that is snowbound forest, but they reckon that of they make good going they can comfortably get to and from the marked spot in daylight. Later, of course, it will get dangerously cold.
That things don't go to plan won't come as much of a surprise. What is interesting is that the threats here don't always come from the obvious places, at least not in terms of what cinema has taught us to expect. The relationships within the group are also more complicated than they first appear, with individuals not all playing to type. This highlights the prejudices that lead them to mistrust each other.
Though teenagers may relate to Cheryl, older viewers are likely to find her a bit wearing. Otherwise, though, the characters are engaging enough to hold the attention, even as we journey through familiar territory. The tension weakens a bit towards the end, when some scenes being to feel padded, but overall the pacing is good and there's enough tension to keep things interesting. There might be enough to put you off going treasure hunting. Then again, maybe not.Reviewed on: 09 Nov 2017