A man’s journey away from stress only becomes more stressful in this thriller that has a Rashomon feel to things before the mind-blowing finale.
Ben Boyd has ended his relationship with his longtime girlfriend, and he needs to get away from all the stresses of life. He decides to take a three-day weekend and just go camping in the woods. However, upon his arrival, he finds another car and at first wonders why another car would be in the same area. He brushes it off at first until he hears a noise coming from the trunk. He soon discovers a young woman in the trunk and then finds himself nearly shot with an arrow. As he escapes, he somehow finds himself having the young girl’s phone and tries to get the mystery solved.
One of the men involved in the kidnapping is Schnappsie, a rugged tough guy who knows of a location of a trunk where the map is tattooed onto the woman’s back. Her name is Shannon and she is hearing impaired. When Ben hides out in Schnappsie’s pick-up, he discovers that Shannon’s boyfriend Sledge is on his way as he just got out of prison. As Sledge makes his way to the camp, a series of events occur that will change the game. Will Ben be able to find peace for his 3-day weekend or will he fall prey to these devious kidnappers?
This thriller written and directed by Wyatt McDill brings an interesting plot that could have a straightforward plot of a camper finding himself having to possibly save a kidnapped woman from some devious men. However, McDill decides to do something even better. He wanted to make the film a complicated adventure that has two points of view in terms of the kidnapping. This brings to mind films like Rashomon and Hero, with the sides from the protagonist and the kidnappers.
While we see the points of view from both sides of Ben and the kidnappers, the major focus is that of Shannon, the young hearing-impaired woman who serves as the one being kidnapped. Maya Stojan does an excellent job using non-dialogue for the entire span of the film. As a matter of fact, with the exception of phone messages in the introductory scene, most of the first half of the film, Ben’s point of view, is non-dialogue. Morgan Krantz is great as Ben, who just wants to have a stress-free weekend only to have more stress added on with his inadvertent involvement in the plot.
Nathan Phillips, perhaps best known for his role in Snakes on a Plane, is the rugged Schnappsie, one of the film’s antagonists who attempts to find the safe full of money hidden in the campgrounds. The fact that the map to the trunk is tattooed onto Shannon’s back makes for one of the intricate twists in the film. While he’s the level-headed type, it is Shannon’s boyfriend Sledge that is the muscle and somewhat very scary. Scott MacDonald is pretty menacing as Sledge, who not only looks for justice he has learned Shannon has been taken, but he sports a bandage to look like a broken nose only to reveal something more disturbing. However, none of it compares to the 64th minute of its 80 minute running time, where a shocking event happens that is jaw-dropping.
3-Day Weekend is a brilliant indie film that takes a camping trip turned awry and melds it into a Rashomon-like puzzle film with a finale that will make your jaw drop.
WFG RATING: A-
A Sleeper Cell Films production in association with Lunacy Productions. Director: Wyatt McDill. Producer: Megan Huber. Writer: Wyatt McDill. Cinematography: Brian Lundy. Editing: Carlos Lamas.
Cast: Maya Stojan, Morgan Krantz, Nathan Phillips, Scott MacDonald