film reel image

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Stowaway 2022 * * * Stars


2022's Stowaway has a pretty fitting title. Actually there are two people who stow away in the film (at least for the first act). Watching Stowaway with great ardor, I sort of harked back to home invasion stuff like Survive the Night, Don't Breathe, and/or Breaking In. The only difference is that we're talking about a big fat yacht (with flair) and not some remote dwelling. 

For most of the way, Stowaway carries the viewer along with aplomb. The set-up here is well established, you get a solid beat on the main character (Ruby Rose as the rebellious Bella Denton), and the tension throughout is a moderate to slow burn. It's only in the last 15 minutes or so that Stowaway bogs down a little and becomes sort of rote and predictable. Frank Grillo (as patent baddie Meeser) just had to play Frank Grillo again.

Shot in quaint Mississippi with all its overhead and aerial glory, Stowaway's outline is too good to be true. It's about a downtrodden woman (Bella) who inherits a large sailboat from her late father. While sleeping on said boat with a random, Bella encounters some calculated marauders who are looking for millions of dollars in gold and don't plan on leaving any witnesses behind. 

Sometimes music is everything in a flick and well, Stowaway is pretty close in that respect. Try watching it without the sound, I mean don't. The soundtrack here by BC Smith is tops, a sort of steel-drummed, lucid suite that evokes early 2000s Cliff Martinez (and that's a good thing). Along with this soundtrack, some dark and dangerous direction by Declan Whitebloom (he's mostly a music video guy), and actors that are game enough, Stowaway bleeds atmospherics as it fashions itself as a nippy, compact thriller. Don't "hide" from it, just see it. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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