out of Five
Running time: 83
Enjoyable, well acted and sharply written, this is a pleasingly ambitious British thriller with echoes of Memento.
What's it all about?
Alex Reid stars as a woman who wakes up on a beach with no memory of who she is. Shortly afterwards, she finds a man (Jamie Draven) washed up on the same beach, but when she goes to help him, he attacks her.
As she goes on the run from the stranger, her memory begins to return in fractured flashbacks and she realises that she needs to piece together her memory and figure out who she is before it's too late. Meanwhile, the stranger continues to pursue her and both of them are drawn to a large ruined building on the coast that seems to hold the key.
Written and directed by Simon Welsford, Jetsam also reunites two of the stars of The Descent. Alex Reid is superb in the lead, exuding both toughness and vulnerability to create an intriguing character that drives the story and holds our interest.
Jamie Draven is equally good as the woman's mysterious pursuer and there's strong support from Cal Macaninch, who further complicates things as another man who seems to be after her. In addition, Shauna Macdonald is excellent as another woman caught up in a mystery that involves industrial espionage, a genius discovery and obsessive love.
The film makes a virtue of its low budget origins (unbelievably, it was made for a mere £2,500), with strong location work both in London and on the Kent coast.
To be fair, the central mystery isn't quite as hard to figure out as the film seems to think it is (arguably, it gives too much away at an early stage), but it's still an enjoyable ride with several intriguing twists.
Producers take note: Jetsam is the sort of movie that the British film industry should be churning out on a regular basis. Recommended.