Starring: Gabe Fazio, Augie Duke, Federico Castelluccio, Peter Greene
Directed and Written by: E.B Hughes
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Reviewed by: Dan Oles
Exit 0 continually reminded me of another thriller film called Vacancy and I kept waiting for the major distinguishing moment that would allow Exit 0 to find it’s own identity. It did eventually: unlike Vacancy, Exit 0 makes no sense at all. Instead of seeding red herrings and then sticking to a a single explanation dispelling the tangents, Exit 0 is content to lay out a bunch of possibilities…then shrug.
It doesn’t help that the lead characters for this film are intensely unlikable. This broken couple is beyond saving: a codependent cowardly milksop and his browbeaten girlfriend who seems to pal around with him entirely out of pity or just any opportunity for potential physical intimacy. Even before the main male character starts endlessly complaining about his watch you will hate, and when he’s in danger and responds to it by hyperventilating and lying (even though he demands honesty from his supposed partner) you will find a new level of hate.
Every other character is played up to a ludicrous degree by veteran actors without much to do and without much direction. The stoner writer seems like he’s from another movie entirely and the cheerful tour guide has a fleshed out backstory…which doesn’t have anything to do with the plot.
The camp and weirdness is enjoyable to watch but it doesn’t do much for the supposed atmosphere of tension. It also puts the protagonists own dullness, awkwardness, and ingrained pathetic nature into all the more stark a contrast.
So we have a mystery which doesn’t really ever get solved, characters that are not so much realistically flawed as fundamentally annoying. The direction is nice and solid even if the flood lighting makes the production look a little too cheap to sell itself as a stylish thriller. The plot is nothing new with the exception of the open ending and there is no character arc at all to see.
If you enjoy irritating bickering people brooding in hotel rooms and inexplicably wacky character actors performing for the benefit of their own private imaginary films (probably better than this one) I suppose there’s something to be said for Exit 0. For me if you can’t care about the leads you don’t care what kind of trouble they get into, and if a mystery doesn’t have an ending the film itself feels like it just comes to an abrupt stop.
Go watch Vacancy if you want to see this concept done much better in every respect.