Dark Harbor (1998), directed by Adam Coleman Howard, stars Alan Rickman (David Weinberg), Polly Walker (Alexis Chandler Weinberg), and Norman Reedus (young man).
The Weinberg couple are driving through the rain to catch a ferry when Alexis spots a young man by the roadside. She urges her husband to stop and help and finds a bruised and battered young man in need of assistance, who insists on them not calling the police. Through a series of circumstances the young man winds up on the couple's island, staying for a few nights and as a result the couple's life gets turned upside down.
Okay, so as a summary that looks kind of cliché, right? A couple picks up a drifter and strange things happen. It is cliché.
What's worse is that this movie is one of those Pinteresque sleight-of-hand things. It drags on in its own pace and you feel the tension under the dialogue the whole time, but it isn't until at the very end that the twist is revealed.
And here's the catch — once you know what the twist is, the subtlety of the acting and all the little strange things that catch and ping on your radar suddenly make it all better. But - and this is the problem too - you actually don't get there until the very end of the movie and by the time you do, you actually need to watch it again to really get and enjoy the many little things that these three actors give you along the way.
Reedus is perfectly cast, slim as a whippet, and with something hidden in his brooding eyes. He can seem boyishly innocent yet at the same time there's something vaguely menacing about him; and that's not only because he carries a knife and lounges around in the background, whittling.
Alan Rickman and Polly Walker play a disaffected couple with so many strange emotional undercurrents going on that there at times seems to be a third party to their every conversation that calls up things like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, not that it's anywhere near that intense, but still. I find my references sidle towards theater, but that is probably easily explained by the fact that most of the action is just the three of them in various constellations.