In this council estate-set psychological thriller, Toby Jones must confront his Oedipal complex after a date that goes badly wrong.

During the title sequence, Carl looks through the kaleidoscope he was given as a child. It triggers unexpected feelings within him. Images spin out of order and shapes tessellate beyond recognition. This is, perhaps a metaphor for the 100 minutes of flickering light we, as the audience to a film experience.

Rupert Jones is conscious of the medium in which he is working, often making gestures toward classic suspense thrillers such as Hitchcock’s Psycho. The cinematography is, as might be expected with this type of film, fairly noticeable. The architectural features of the council estate – its dark corners, spiral staircases and gloomy corridors – are drawn attention to often as if to suggest ex-convict Carl is still very much incarcerated.

Whilst the artistic direction is fairly predictable, the plot challenges our expectations. Toby Jones has a good grasp on his role, if anything there could have been slightly more time spent explaining why he was convicted in the first place. Sinead Matthews, his spirited yet spiky companion for the night bursts onto the scene to contribute, at times, some much needed energy, while Anne Reid’s maternal character is sinister in her knowing presence.

Tapped into the complexities of the human psyche, Kaleidoscope raises some interesting questions about the roles we play in society. No easy watch, this is a film that requires multiple viewings in order to straighten out the plot. But we’re okay with that.

A gripping investigation into how the impressions left by early childhood resurface late on in life, Kaleidoscope is just as thought-provoking as it is unsettling. The Anne Reid, Sinead Matthews and Toby Jones triumvirate are a delight to watch.

Rating: 4/5


CAST: Toby Jones, Anne Reid, Sinead Matthews, Deborah Findlay, Karl Johnson

DIRECTOR: Rupert Jones

WRITER: Rupert Jones

SYNOPSIS: Kaleidoscope is a taut, psychological thriller that explores the inescapability of a destructive relationship between a middle-aged man and his mother.