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S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice

Cyprus 2019
produced by
Vitaly Rosset, Marina Doronina, Loris Curci (executive), Marianna Rosset (executive)
directed by Roman Doronin
starring Jeannine Kaspar, Marianna Rosset, Kseniya Pinch, Zach Rose, Crystal Web, Diljohn Singh, William Baldwin, Christopher Greco, Maria Ioannou, Philippos Connstantinos, Andreas Aroditis, Loris Curci, Rania Tahha, Alex Bezdenezhnykh, Alena Salimianova, Maria Panaseti, Constantinos Gkotsoulias, Marina Nicolaou
written by Roman Doronin, Marcus Jerrome, music by Otto K. Schwarz, Nik Klimenko, Alexander Pavlovich, special effects by Takhir Nurkhabinov

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Kate (Jeannine Kaspar) and her estranged teenaged sister Liz (Kseniya Pinch) arrive in Cyprus for holidays, and things get off to a rocky start when Liz loses their passports. Then when Liz is already asleep, Kate goes for a drink to the hotel bar - but meets Myra (Marianna Rosset), and the two women take an instant liking into one another, and Kate soon switches to partying mode ... not knowing of course that Myra has long stolen her key, and her boyfriend Jack (William Baldwin) is to ransack her room while she's out. Myra and Kate soon pick up two locals, Andras (Zach Rose) and Nick (Diljohn Singh), who persuade them to go with them on a hot air balloon ride. Of course the girls say yes to the opportunity - but the guys fail to mention they have no idea how to steer the thing, and forget to properly tie it to the ground. And suddenly the balloon flies off with the four of them, over a wind park, where Nick is caught by a rotor and dies, then over the open water, where Andras, trying to attract attention from a nearby yacht, falls into the sea and drowns. And eventually the balloon runs out of hot air, hits the water and sinks, and out in the open, all Kate and Myra have to hold onto is one gas cannister and a little bit of hope that's diminishing by the minute.

Meanwhile back at the hotel, Jack is caught in Kate and her room and chases away by Liz, but when she tries to report it, the hotel tries to hush things up, and before you know it, Liz is handed over to Sofia (Crystal Web) from the American embassy in an effort to remove her as a potential troublemaker. But by now Liz is convinced that Kate's in trouble, and she's nothing if not stubborn, and before you know it, she has roped Sofia into helping her find Kate. But trying to track her down in the open sea is pretty much like searching for a needle in a haystack, especially when the local authorities are less than interested to help ...

 

S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice is above all else a fun little thriller, and even if the plot as a whole seems a bit over-constructed, it feels very real, since the situations as such are believable and in part even relatable - and that the film was partly filmed in an actual hot air balloon only reinforces that. But what makes the film so relatable is that it's populated with colourful characters that above all else feel real, because of rather than despite all their flaws. And of course, that the film is based on Murphy's Law of whatever can go wrong will go wrong makes it speak to virtually everybody, and seeing all of this packed into a tight story then makes for pretty good entertainment.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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