Relationships can often be claustrophobic, nonsensical and grim; the same can be said about one’s past.
These are just some of the themes conveyed in Hack, a cabin in the woods yarn about a writer’s retreat that turns into a Lynchian shit-show for friends/playwrights August (Dylan Rosychuck) and Foster (Eric Smith).
The narrative in Hack lays its groundwork right off the bat, showing how dynamic and different these two protagonists are, as their getaway vacation to write a new play to follow up their initial hit turns slowly sour, inevitably revealing how these two men have far more hidden in their pasts than they’re initially letting on.
The only downside of this production is the repetition of the first act, as the archetypes of August and Foster are driven home a little too hard, taking up the bulk of the narrative’s beginning moments, opting to tell the audience who these men are as opposed to showing.
Where things really take off is when the first act bleeds into the second, where after a night of binge drinking, screaming and writing (the creative process) August and Foster are faced with two strangers at their door. The strangers (Maddy Knight and Susan Evans) eerily resemble the characters the two were writing the evening prior, and from that point on the story devolves into pure Twilight Zone nightmare shenanigans—and every minute of it is incredible.
As our protagonists slowly learn they have some form of otherworldly connection to these women, concepts of control, morality and secrecy slowly bubble to the surface, all paced in a way that not only respects the intense concepts of the narrative and the weight that these concepts carry, but also the development of these characters.
All ending in a horror show climax.
With a rock-solid script and an abundance of genre hopping, Hack is a scary story to tell in the dark worth checking out.
Fringe review: Hack
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