Watch Those Who Walk Away (2022) Online

A shy guy finds his blind date taking him to a place darker than the local movie theater.

Real interesting movie that sets off with a sweet taster of the extended long take, as the opening shot skillfully wheels us round the everyday activity of a public park and into a cheeky split-screen phone conversation.

From there the attractive antagonist takes over, and for me the form of the action is perfect up to the arrival at the final destination. The actors work well, and the passing of time is nicely handled, all while spooky elements are slipped into the shape of the story. One small drawback was the rushed reference to the template story - I caught it as Omelettes by Lugwin, and had to stop to figure it out. Either explain about le Guin, or just tell the story without mentioning the title or author.

That final destination is stylish in its spooks, but the kid was either miscast or given over-written lines - I couldn't help thinking of the young Jake in Two and a 1/2 Men. As for the meaning of what happens in the house, I'm still not satisfied. Walking away is the crucial act, and it seems to be done in several different ways by different characters at different times - but as a viewer I want to channel it through Max, as if he's doing it all in an effort to work through his trauma, with the house as the cage of his repression. Yet the brother and sister are real, with a separate back story, so they can't be part of Max. And the final encounter harks back, I guess, to the first phone conversation ...? I'm going to rewatch, with the le Guin story lined up first.

Leaving aside my puzzlement, the energy is good, particularly in the female lead and also the music and sound design. The cinematography and location direction are impressive throughout. At one point drops of water land on the camera when the kid's hair gets tousled, and I imagined the steady-cam guy: HTF do I clean the lens? And my lower-back is on fire!

Overall: Engaging, but an unsolved puzzle. Might mark it up on a rewatch.

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Those Who Walk Away (2022)

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Those Who Walk Away online

Year: 2022
Country: United States
Time:1h 34m
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