In a humdrum suburban world where cat-sitting seems to be the height of excitement, people are going missing. You’d think that would be the warning to new comer Jordan Long. Instead he’s advised to watch out for the feisty racoons. As if that was the height of his problems. But all is not how it seems in the movie Dormant
In fact, Long – that’s Detective Long – is a police officer on an under-cover mission. He’s investigating the missing people. And those missing people are CIA agents. He’s also coming to terms with a crushing personal tragedy.
Dormant is written and directed by Julian Jay Burton, who also plays the brooding and tenacious Detective Long. Tom Hagale creepily menaces as neighbour Arthur Huff. And the setting of Huntsville, which doubles as the fictional city in the Red Crow Comics universe, looms with a quiet insistence.
There are enough twists and turns, flash-backs and reveals to keep the story ticking along at a fair pace while Long’s own demons are explored. Dormant is a slow burning, moody film and it’s a prequel to the web-series (and comic) Bermuda City.
Stylistically it is more grim reality that shiny excess. Think Christopher Nolan’s Batman series – you can almost feel the wind coming off the Atlanta water. Although inspiration has come from such diverse areas as the suspense of Hitchcock and the high concept of John Woo.
And it’s that high concept combined with low cunning that sees a seedy world that goes on beneath the surface of daily life. Within all of that, it’s wonderfully restrained. Director Burton hasn’t gone for guts and gore. That would be a distraction. Instead he’s left the implication for your own imagination to fill in the gaps.
But there are gaps your imagination longs to be filled for you – more of Detective Long’s back story would be good. But it adds to the mystery and the aura of sadness that surrounds him. And leaves you wanting more. Ideal for a prequel and entry into a comic series. But Dormant is strong enough to stand on its own.
Watch Dormant on Amazon Prime.