Young couple Susan and David head out to a friend’s cabin for a weekend to resolve their issues, but upon arriving find it already occupied by Len and Gigi, who turn out to be criminal lovers on the run after a job went wrong. The undesirable situation quickly escalates into a series of shifting power plays and unyielding tension.
Sometimes the most basic of scenarios can result in the most engaging of films. The events of Nobody Can Cool are very much secondary to the interaction between the characters, and as you gradually get to know them as the film progresses your opinion of each of them constantly shifts. The danger of them coming across as genre stereotypes is defied by the depth of the characterisation, sometimes during the most blackly comic and inappropriate of situations. Susan and David arguing over the state of their relationship while locked in a cupboard; Len and Gigi bickering about whose fault the botched robbery was; Susan and Len sharing a drink while he’s tied up and she points a gun at his head as their respective others hunt each other in the darkness of the night outside. While you may not entirely sympathise with any one character’s actions or motivations, you can at least understand them, and in doing so you are able to perceive them as real people and subsequently become invested in what happens to them, for good or ill.
Almost the entire film is set within the confines of the single cabin, the claustrophobic atmosphere adding to the mounting pressure of events and each passing moment making everyone more nervous about how things will ultimately play out. They are all caught in a scenario none of them want to be a part of, and each of them is doing little more than frantically improvising one moment to the next as they try to figure out a solution. Although things could be easily resolved by one of the couples simply being able to leave, circumstances continually conspire to prevent this, the consequences for each failed attempt to bring things to a close becoming ever more severe.
The directorial debut of Dpyx (a joint moniker for creative team Marcy Boyle and Rachel Holzman), Nobody Can Cool is an intense neo-noir that barely relents for a moment and far exceeds what you would expect from first-time filmmakers. Just when you think that the story is about to run out of steam and begin to repeat itself it throws another curveball at you, preventing you from guessing exactly how it will develop. A thriller in the truest sense of the word.
NOBODY CAN COOL / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: DPYX / STARRING: CATHERINE ANNETTE, NICK PRINCIPE, NIKKI BOHM, DAVID LINSKI / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 14TH (VOD), FEBRUARY 22ND (DVD)