Right on the cusp of the release of Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion comes this trailer for the UK outbreak thriller Retreat courtesy of Empire Online. The film stars Cillian Murphy, who should really know how to handle these situations after 28 Days Later, and Thandie Newton as a couple who travel to a remote Scottish island looking to get away from it all.

As you can see in this trailer, they were not as isolated as they had hoped.

Jamie Bell, who plays the intense soldier who turns up at the door, is probably best known as the precious little dancing boy from 2000’s Billy Elliot. But this is far from the first thriller in which he’s found himself. His performance in the supernatural World War I film Deathwatch was brooding, spooky, and superb. I can’t wait to see him flex his creep muscles in Retreat.

I’m intrigued by the idea of a pandemic film in which the existence of the pandemic is up in the air. All through the trailer Jamie Bell insists that they must barricade themselves in to protect them from the desperate citizens who may try to break in to escape the disease. But as the trailer went on and we didn’t see even a hint of this happening, I wondered if the outbreak was even real. It seemed a confirmed plot element when Murphy’s character cried, “There is no disease!” Suddenly this is not just your run-of-the-mill deadly virus movie, but something that instead plays with the psychology of fear.

The trailer almost feels like a variation on the infamous 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast. You have two people basically cut off from civilization who are told that the rest of the world has fallen victim to outbreak, but can’t actually see it happening to confirm it; much like those folks listening to reports of an alien invasion had no idea whether or not it was real. I’m sure paranoia, panic, and primal human instincts will all play a major part in Retreat and I’m anxious to see the outcome.

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