Writer-director Darren Bender’s eerie romantic thriller Ferryman combines emotional trauma with bizarre circumstances. It follows two young lovers, Ash (Oliver Lee) and Eve (Carli Fish), who are knowingly destined for a tragic ending together. Still, the two try to defy the odds against them. It’s weird and a little twisted, with a ton of running. However, the catch between Ash and Eve is a bizarre secret club that dispatches a ferryman for those wanting to die without having to stay sick or in pain.
Ferryman starts with a man in a wheelchair who is witness to an older woman clutching a doll in her suicide. It’s not clear what is happening, but it is obvious there’s a great deal of unhappiness at play. As a soldier on leave, Ash is seeking a place to stay as he is visiting friends, comrades, and so-called family that does not want him. He is haunted by combat, suffering from PTSD with shakes and other symptoms. When he calls on his combat friend Sparx (Clint Dyer), the man in the wheelchair, it becomes clear something else is going on.
“…Ash continues to keep Eve from attempting suicide by filling out her life, but is it enough…”
Once Ash finds his friend dead in bed with a plastic bag over his head, he manages to keep going like he has in combat. But when he meets Eve, he cannot let her go. She faces her own battle with terminal illness. However, Ash hangs tough and becomes intertwined in Eve’s ferryman meetings, learning that it’s a chain of people moving from one death to another. Ambushing Eve’s ferryman sets her into a tailspin, but Ash still hangs on even when her mother forces him out. Ash continues to keep Eve from attempting suicide by filling out her life, but is it enough to keep the Ferryman away?
Ferryman is a great title and, when said in a British accent, has a luring enticement of something unknown and unusual that draws one in. The moody music that accompanies the mention of the words throughout perfectly lays out the tone. Eve’s character becomes loveable even though she is sick and difficult, changing the film from thriller to romance. But she refuses to give up her membership to the ferryman club.
There are parts of the film that are slightly frivolous and drawn out. This is especially true of how Eve and Ash meet and the running and climbing that ensues. Although illegal, the idea of the ferryman club does have its purpose as Ash learns to understand its existence and has to explain it and, most of all, live with it. The suspense and thriller elements crescendo early on. Still, the idea behind Ferryman lives on and begins to make more sense the more one thinks it is over. Bender’s film never really leaves one’s thoughts even well after it’s over.
For more information, visit the official Ferryman site.
"…never really leaves one's thoughts..."