Plot twists and critical turns are key to making successful thrillers. A successful twist pulls the audience in a specific direction and then seizes what they thought to be true, leaving them dumbfounded and duped – “The Sixth Sense,” “Unbreakable,” “The Others” and “The Usual Suspects” come to mind well executed plot twists. These are the benchmarks by which other films are beholden to.
“The Double Hour,” by first-time film director Guiseppe Capotondi is a thriller set in present-day Italy. The main character is named Guido, because they don’t want you to forget that this is an Italian film. He’s an emotionally unavailable sexually-charged former police officer turned private security guard for a wealthy art collector. At a speed-dating event, while trolling for action, he meets Sonia, a beautiful immigrant who works as a maid at a fancy hotel. He’s smitten and quickly falls in love, lets his guard down while at work with her and the place gets robbed. While protecting his new found love, he is shot and apparently so is Sonia. He dies and she is now haunted by his ghost and, quite obviously, something else. As the story slowly unfolds we eventually get to the twist, then another, then a critical turn, which falls flat on its face.
The first half of the film is actually really great. There is character development, a lot of depth from the main characters and a lot of mystery surrounding their pasts, but after the initial twist it just kind of spirals down into an anticlimactic ending that falls short of any real resolve and really just a bit sad. Thrillers are supposed to excite, not make you want to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and contemplate spending the rest of your life miserable and alone. I really did want to love this film, but sadly, Sonia ain’t no Kaiser Soze.