Marcus Adams
2003, United Kingdom, 91 minutes

Thursday, 3.25, 6:30pm

One night can last a lifetime. Octane is a unique, fascinating, and often surreal, hybrid of Crash and Near Dark - with Satanic pro-life overtones.

A driver regains consciousness inside his car after a freeway crash. He blinks blood out of his eyes as paramedics on the scene prepare to remove him from the mangled vehicle. The emergency crew hears the siren of an approaching ambulance, and quickly extricate the victim from the wreckage. By the time the 'real' paramedics arrive, the man is gone.

Senga (Madeleine Stowe) and her daughter Nat (Mischa Barton from The O.C.) argue as they make the six-hour drive from her ex-husband's house. When the traffic slows to a stop at a crash site, they notice a clean-cut young man photographing the wreckage while a young woman picnics at a folding table under a flowery parasol. Further down the road, Senga swerves to narrowly miss a 'baby' crawling across the highway.

Before long a beautiful young hitchhiker (Bijou Phillips from Almost Famous) lures Nat away from her mother with Indian music and the promise of freedom. Senga is plunged into a nightmarish hunt for her missing daughter, and an unforgettable run-in with a mobile sex and blood cult.

Expertly directed by Marcus Adams from a script by Stephen Volk (writer of Ken Russell's Gothic), Octane features a creepy performance from Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Velvet Goldmine, Bend it Like Beckham) and a score by Orbital.

- Bruce Fletcher