Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Sure… you’ve been here before. Bill Murray had to deal with it, Jake Gylenhaal had to deal with it, Taye Diggs had to deal with it for an entire 13 episode season… and that’s just what immediately comes to mind so there may be more. But they probably didn’t have to deal with it the way that director Carl Bessai has dreamed up for his intensely unlikable characters in ‘Repeaters’. That, of course, being the burden of reliving the same day over and over and over again. What should we do today? Rape somebody or just go on a murdering rampage? Decisions… decisions.

Kyle (Dustin Milligan), Sonja (Amanda Crew) and Michael (Richard De Klerk) are drug addicts. All three have been sent to court ordered rehab and they hate it like a spoiled puppy hates dog food. On this particular miserable day for these miserable young adults, they get a day pass to do something right for a change. Sonja goes to visit her old man who is dying in a hospital bed, though she couldn’t get up the courage to speak to him. Michael went to visit his old man in the penitentiary, and if ever there was a dad that wasn’t happy to see his baby boy, he was it. I’m thinking the old man had to take the fall for his boys stash. Kyle went to visit his baby sister Charlotte (Alexa Fast), and apparently Kyle was a real jerk to his little sister because she refuses to speak to him. The other two I kind of understand their issues, but treating your younger sister poorly is kind of par for the course and it’s not really something that requires the abuse of drugs. Girlfriend needs to get over it.

Anyway, later that evening came the fateful night of the blackout when these three troubled young adults touched that light switch. They wake up and it’s Wednesday. Odd thing is that yesterday was Wednesday too. Say what? Well… you got a do over right? Time to make some things right. Unless, of course, you’re a crackhead. No sir, while the most unethical thing I might do is get a newspaper and check the Megaball numbers or ask a bunch of women out to see who will say yes, these kids rob liquor stores, taze dudes, rape, murder, and inhale a touch of meth… until Michael gets a little carried away. Seriously, he’s the one behind most of that stuff we just mentioned.

Now Kyle has to stop him. I guess. I mean it’s going to reset the next day, right? That is unless these kids figure out what they are supposed to with this day so they can move on to the next day. And while that might sound good to us, because we would like to be free of these downer young adults, Michael can’t really have that because if today comes, he’ll probably end up in the electric chair. If Canada had an electric chair. Or they’ll just put him in jail with his old man which would be about the same thing. ‘A Most Dangerous Game’ will ensue.

So here’s the thing about ‘Repeaters’ that kept me from embracing this movie. All of the characters in this movie… every single one of them… were absolutely no fun to hang out with. Sidestepping the fact that our three attractive leads are selfish, whiney, self absorbed assholes, the unlikability factor doesn’t stop with them. The sister Kyle is so desperate to save is a little on the bitchy side, the rehab counselor is pervy, the cop that pops up here and there is a jerk, the liquor store owner is irritating, and the lady who kept trying to kill herself was nerve grating. I don’t know if they ever got around to saving her on that final day. Regardless, it’s kind of hard to root for a movie when you don’t care about anyone in the movie actually surviving the movie.

We do recognize that our main characters are setup this way so that can be redeemed, except maybe Michael, but from where I was sitting they were never quite able to cross that gulf of redemption to become sympathetic. Besides, their road to redemption involved them making peace with characters we already have mentioned are acidic. The only character whose road to redemption I was interested in was Michael, because the issue between he and his old man looked to be a fascinating one to explore, but Michael was too busy doing other stuff.

‘Repeaters’ is also a very depressing film, though I do think this is by design. The colors are muted and overcast, the subject matter is grim, the performances are dour and the resolution to the bad situation our heroes find themselves in is a little on the nihilistic side. If Bessai was attempting to paint a picture of modern youth and its waywardness, selfishness, and issues of self entitlement, then the man did a good job in painting that picture and it’s not a pretty one to look at.

Of course it’s all a matter of perspective. Ignoring the fact that the concept of living the same day over and over may be little on the tired side, someone else may find that ‘Repeaters’ is speaking to you on a personal level and that these are characters dealing with situations you can relate to. I, on the other hand, I saw a depressing film filled with characters I would go out of my way to avoid, who really needed a sound spanking followed by a group hug. It’s just a matter of perspective.

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