The new Netflix crime thriller Shimmer Lake has an impressive cast, which includes Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Adam Pally, Stephanie Sigman, Wyatt Russell, Rob Corddry, Ron Livingston, and John Michael Higgins. Plus? One doozy of a twist.
“It’s a movie about a crime in a small town and a sheriff’s attempts to get to the bottom of what happened,” says the film’s writer and first-time director, Oren Uziel. “It is told in reverse chronological order, so it starts three days after the crime, and slowly works its way backwards to two days after, one day after, to the actual day of the event. Ben Walker, who is phenomenal, plays Zeke, the town sheriff; Adam Pally plays Reed, who is the extremely lovable deputy; Rainn Wilson is Zeke’s brother Andy, who’s sort of gotten in over his head; Stephanie Sigman plays Ed’s wife; and Rob Corddry and Ron Livingston play a couple of FBI agents.”
Uziel, whose previous writing credits include 22 Jump Street, says seeing movies on HBO as a kid helped inspire his film’s unusual structure. “I loved watching anything that was on there,” he says. “It didn’t matter what part of the movie was on, I would watch from that point on. I would end up watching movies out of order, because I would just catch whatever piece was on. Eventually I would watch the whole movie the way it was intended and it would never be as good as it was the way I watched it. It just added a level of tension and mystery.”
Shimmer Lake producer Adam Saunders compares the tone of the film to Fargo and Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan. “It’s in the bag-of-money thriller genre, but it’s also comedic,” he says. “I think Oren’s done a really great job of combining those two elements into a cohesive tone.”
In addition to Shimmer Lanke, Uziel also had a hand in writing the J.J. Abrams-produced, super-secret, and currently untitled 2017 Cloverfield movie, which will be released Oct. 27. What can he tell us about that?
“I know that it’s going to be part of — I don’t know how you say it exactly— but the expanded Cloverfield universe,” says Uziel. “It is, uh, in space. People should be very excited for it. I mean, I don’t know. I’m in fear of saying too much!”
Watch an exclusive, and expletive-heavy, clip from Shimmer Lake, below.
Shimmer Lake is released on Netflix, June 9.