Australian indie Alexandra’s Project (2003) is one of those small, high-concept movies that plays better the less you know about it. It’s the story of a suburban family man named Steve (Gary Sweet), who seems to have it all: a loving wife, two beautiful children, a nice house, and a good position at work. But on his birthday, he comes home to an unusual surprise party: a video tape from his wife Alexandra (Helen Buday) that proves to be an emotionally gutwrenching experience.
Anchored by raw, effective performances from both Buday and Sweet, Alexandra’s Project starts promisingly. You know that something isn’t quite right in the household from the start, but not exactly what, and as the day progresses the creepy suspense mounts. It’s an interesting, earnest bottle show depicting slowly escalating domestic horror. Unfortunately, the potential doesn’t quite pay off as the clever premise bogs down in expository dialogue. As the mystery falls away, unfortunately the film loses steam, and the endgame isn’t particularly satisfying. An interesting film, but not quite successful, for me anyway.