Exit 0 Image

Exit 0

By Bobby LePire | March 6, 2020

Then every character not named Billy is lucky to have two traits. Lisa texts a lot and puts up with his s**t for no reason. During a lighthouse tour, their guide mentions that there is a ghost tour happening later that night. Lisa thinks it would be fun. Billy instantly shoots down the idea. Frederick is calm and understanding. The night manager shows up once, and Muller is calculating and wants to help the couple, who may or may not be in trouble.

But, by the end, Exit 0 emerges as a fantastic look at how trauma and grief can emotionally cut one off from the rest of the world, even if it is happening unconsciously. The last 5-minutes (maybe 10) of the film are jaw-dropping. The cross edits between Lisa and Billy leaving town and Muller researching what Billy claims was on the tape create a tension that leaves you on the edge of your seat. Plus, I was genuinely shocked by how impactful the ending is. This means for all my gripes about the characters, there is something that subtlety captures the viewer’s attention and does not let go until the final frame.

“…genuinely shocked by how impactful the ending is.”

Perhaps it is the acting, as the cast is fantastic. Fazio’s descent into madness is palpable, and he sells his character’s anguish heartbreakingly realistically. He and Duke share terrific chemistry, which does help transcend their squabbling. Duke is energetic, lively, and her concern over what Billy is going through feels realistic. Castelluccio brings a world-weariness, but hopeful air to his detective character Macgregor is a bloody delight as the manager, bringing a certain oddball comedic energy that still comes across as creepy.

Or maybe it is the directing, as Hughes has a fantastic eye. Throughout all of Exit 0, there is an ominous vibe that throws the audience off-kilter. One is never sure if Billy has completely lost his mind or if the hotel is haunted. Perhaps it is the tape itself that is toying with him, as it is demonic, maybe? Hughes never gives a straight answer. Heck, even the ending does not spell it out, so if you were not paying attention to everything going on, certain things make not add up for you.

Exit 0 might not start off very well; it takes a while before the audience likes the lead characters. It might also only use everyone else in the film as a way to only further Billy’s story. But from the haunting score to the impressive set design, and incredible cinematography, you can tell all the love that went into it. Plus, E.B. Hughes is a fantastic director who casts an eerie spell over the proceedings and manages to fiendishly play around with cliches to unnerving effect. Couple that with the constant guessing as to what is really happening, the great cast, and the final few moments of the film, which are perfect, and this winds up being a road trip worth taking.

Exit 0 (2020)

Directed and Written: E.B. Hughes

Starring: Gabe Fazio, Augie Duke, Kenneth McGregor, Federico Castelluccio, Peter Greene, Boomer Tibs, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Exit 0 Image

"…a fantastic look at how trauma and grief can emotionally cut one off from the rest of the world..."

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  1. Jed Parson says:

    I’ve seen autopsies with better plot lines. Absolute BOMB🤮

  2. Joel Richmond says:

    when I was 4 years old I was unable to tie my shoelaces together…….this movie reminds me of that same frustration…..too many issues unresolved and an enjoyable ride to reach there

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