Film review: Wish You Were Here

This tense Aussie drama offers a twist on the holiday-from-hell genre.

A scene from Wish You Were Here. Aquarius Films
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Wish You
Were Here

Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith

Joel Edgerton, Felicity Price, Teresa Palmer


A superior twist on the holiday-from-hell thriller genre, this tense Australian drama overloads the viewer with maddeningly cryptic clues but ultimately fails to deliver on its highly atmospheric first half. Joel Edgerton, who was excellent in the 2010 underworld saga Animal Kingdom, brings some of the same brooding intensity to his role as Dave, a young Australian on a paradisiacal Cambodian holiday with his wife Alice (co-writer Felicity Price), her sister Steph (Teresa Palmer) and Steph's boyfriend Jeremy (Anthony Starr). Mostly revealed in teasing flashbacks, Jeremy's mysterious disappearance on the trip becomes a dark subplot involving sex and violence, almost wrecking Dave and Alice's marriage. The suspense is well orchestrated but the final shock explanation feels disappointingly flat, leaving a sour aftertaste of clichéd First World -anxiety about other cultures.

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