(UK/UAE - 2017)
CREEP (2005), the office-team-building-retreat slasher film SEVERANCE (2006), the lost-at-sea mindfuck TRIANGLE (2009), and the medieval witchcraft saga BLACK DEATH (2011). Smith was building some momentum (SEVERANCE and TRIANGLE quickly found cult followings, and the excellent BLACK DEATH got some critical acclaim), but things sort-of sputtered out for him. He seemed to settle into hired-gun mode with the 2012 miniseries LABYRINTH, based on the Kate Mosse novel. LABYRINTH wasn't seen in the US until it aired on the CW in 2014, and he followed that with an unexpected departure in the barely-released 2014 family comedy GET SANTA, the biggest outlier in his filmography so far. The modern-day noir DETOUR is a return to form of sorts for writer/director Smith. He gets to play with time and linear structure a bit and he explores themes of doppelgangers that figured so prominently in TRIANGLE. And he allows himself some room to show off a little by throwing in some obvious split-screen shout-outs to Brian De Palma. For a while, Smith gets dangerously close to making DETOUR a little too smug and cute for its own good, right down to main character Harper (Tye Sheridan, grown up a bit since JOE and MUD) having a poster for the 1966 Paul Newman movie HARPER on his bedroom wall and later seen watching Edgar G. Ulmer's 1945 Poverty Row cheapie classic DETOUR on TV.
(Canada/US - 2017)