Suspenseful, eerie and disturbing: Calibre review

Calibre, a recently-released Netflix thriller, was exactly what it was advertised to be. It was suspenseful, eerie and the undercurrent of tension built to a disturbing crescendo at the right moments. What begins as an unfortunate accident during a hunting trip in the Scottish Highlands swiftly deteriorates into something much darker. While the film questions ideas of morality from the start, it isn’t until the end that complex psychological undertones shoot to the forefront. Locked into an isolated Scottish town notorious for its flexibility to modern law, Jack Lowden and Martin McCann are themselves. The final clash is particularly revealing, an examination of the human consciousness pushed to the brink of pressure. It won the award for Best British Feature at the Edinburgh film festival. The film’s subtle reworkings of cliche recreates a fresh and exciting film that deserves the title.

Lowden, known most likely for the Morrissey biopic England is Mine and Dunkirk, was perfect in his role. Confused and with the innocent naivety of a lost child, Lowden fully embodied the indecision of his character Vaughn. Devastated by the accidental murder of a child, he is manipulated by his childhood friend Marcus into much darker consequences. Until the accident almost becomes premeditated murder through Marcus’s chilling role in attempting to hide the bodies. Lowden and McCann play off of each other, ricocheting guilt, blame and panic until the tension reached its pinnacle. It was a brilliant partnership that solidified the film and buoyed the moments where the plot had the potential to lose momentum.

Calibre explores the limits of friendship, survival and morality. Its cast was well-chosen, from Lowden and McCann to Tony Curran and Cal MacAninch and was likely a strong factor in its Edinburgh festival win. It was an interesting and well-acted performance and is emphatically recommended to those who enjoy suspenseful and dark thrillers.


Stephanie Bennett

Image courtesy of Variety