Toronto After Dark Report: The Interior

Who’s in it: Patrick McFadden, Ryan Austin, Jake Beczala, Andrew Hayes

Who’s behind it: Written and directed by Trevor Juras

Who’ll love it: Anyone with a stifling office job, a craving for nature, and a high tolerance for deliberate pacing.

What it’s about: Suffering from a variety of physical and psychological ailments, James (Patrick McFadden) is a frustrated young office worker who fantasizes about attacking his boss and escaping the Toronto rat race. He also feels a growing indifference toward his girlfriend, confirming his suspicion that it’s time for a radical change. In a moment of uncharacteristic impulsiveness, he quits his job, dumps his girlfriend, and heads for a life of isolation in the forests of British Columbia. Completely detached from the irritations of modern life, he’s forced to confront problems far more primal and mysterious.

Why you should see it: The Interior’s unmistakably lo-fi production values instantly lower expectations, but the film’s merit is much greater than its budget. Withholding any real horror flourishes until deep into its second half, this film starts as a cubicle frustration comedy in the tradition of Office Space, but with the more caustic worldview of Fight Club and the indie eccentricity of Steven Soderbergh’s underappreciated Schizopolis. When James makes his transition to the forest, director Trevor Juras’ filmmaking turns more artful and relaxed, lulling viewers into a calm… that is abruptly interrupted by shock. While The Interior would benefit from a more disciplined, purposeful handling of these sequences, Juras successfully transports us to the one place his protagonist can’t escape: his own troubled mind.

When you can see it: Monday, October 19 at 9:30pm at Scotiabank Theatre. Tickets available here.

Check out the trailer and the poster below.