Following the stillbirth of their first son, Kate (Thandie Newton) and Martin's (Cillian Murphy) marriage has taken a turn for the worse. With the tension between them getting worse they decide to escape London and head to a remote Scottish island where they once spent a romantic holiday together in the hope of saving their relationship. But with the generator playing up and communications with the mainland via a CB radio not working things are only getting tenser between them. But then things take a turn for the strange when they find a man dressed in military fatigues on the island having collapsed. When he comes around he says he is Private Jack Corman (Jamie Bell) and that there is a deadly airborne virus sweeping across Europe with their lives in danger unless they seal themselves in the cottage.
"Retreat" is one of those movies which relies on you not noticing the situation is seriously contrived with a couple on an isolated island with no connections to the outside world confronted by a man who says that the rest of the world is being infected by an airborne virus. Basically a lot of unlikely bits need to be put in place for the story to even begin to come together but it needs to because the movie is really all about the situation of a husband and wife who are already troubled finding themselves conflicted as to whether to believe this stranger when he says there is this virus going about or whether he is insane and has some sinister plan for them.
But "Retreat" has one major problem and that is failing to make either Kate or Martin likeable or at least getting them to a point where we care as to what happens to them. As such because you don't feel invested in them when there are scenes of suggested danger you don't really feel the danger because of that lack of connection. As such whilst Jamie Bell certainly gives the character Jack a psychotic edge both Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton end up forgettable. And the worst thing about all this is the mystery of what is really going on, well you end up not bothered as to whether you discover the truth or not.
What this all boils down to is that "Retreat" didn't do it for me and the flaws from the contrived set-up to the lack of character depth failed to draw me in for the situation or the atmosphere to really grab me.