TV Review: The Third Day
HBO's latest offering is perfect for those who long to spend a lot of time mere inches from Jude Law's face.
The look of this drama series is highly stylised, with the camera so close that while his eye is in focus, his nose and ears are not (though do ask a film nerd for the proper name of this technique).
These mere inches are not done out of adoration though – unless you have a very particular kink.
Throughout his story on The Third Day, Law – who plays Sam – is panicked, bewildered, fearful and outright freaked out.
Quite often, that's the viewer's position too.
Once Sam gets to the island community of Osea (pronounced O-C), despite it not being that far from the mainland, it seems incredibly difficult to leave.
Anyone familiar with the 70s chiller The Wicker Man or last year's Midsommar will immediately be wary and be poised for something sinister.
But is Sam simply paranoid, unwell or going through what appears to be an ongoing breakdown?
There are desperate calls to the mainland suggesting some shady dealings, but nothing as shady as what appears to be going on with the locals.
Their local festival doesn't quite seem above board and there is no way back to the mainland.
Is Sam actually finding remnants of ritual sacrifice of woodland creatures or is he reading too much into it?
And why are the locals apparently all too eager for him to stay?
It's a mystery made murkier by Paddy Considine's incredibly genteel pub landlord and his sweary, abrasive wife (Emily Watson).
And is his fellow non-islander Jess (Katherine Waterston) all she appears to be?
The series is divided into two sections – Summer and Winter.
Later episodes feature Naomie Harris' Helen, taking her two daughters to the island apparently for a holiday, only to be told by nervous locals in no uncertain terms to leave immediately.
In an innovative move, there is a live theatrical event to be broadcast between the third and fourth episodes that will link Sam and Helen's stories.
For the filmed story, the tropes are familiar, but there is enough that is different to keep you on the edge of your seat as you find yourself as lost as Sam.
The tension whenever some mad-eyed local picks up a rusty blade is enough to make your heart rate go up so high that it will set your eyes pulsating.
The Third Day may be a bit slow to get into at first, but once that fire is lit, you'll not be able to leave Osea either.
SERIES: The Third Day
STARRING: Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Emily Watson, Paddy Considine, Naomie Harris
DIRECTORS: Marc Munden, Philippa Lowthorpe
THE SKINNY: After saving a girl from accidentally hanging herself on a forest rope swing, Sam (Law) takes her back to her island home of Osea. But the stone causeway is soon underwater, stranding him there. But does he have more of a connection to the island?
SHOWING: Premieres Sept 15 at 9am on HBO GO and HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601/Singtel TV Ch 420), with a same-day encore at 10pm on HBO