Where do you draw the line between enticingly strange and just plain bad? It’s a question that comes up a lot watching ‘Exposed’, in which Keanu Reeves plays a bitter New York cop on the trail of his partner’s murderer. Recut so drastically that the director had his name removed, and absolutely slated by the critics, this could be dismissed as a misguided mess. But open up to it a little bit – give it the benefit of the doubt – and ‘Exposed’ has a grimy, off-kilter charm not seen since the heyday of ’70s exploitation directors like Larry Cohen.
Reeves may be the headliner, but the real focus here is Isabel (Ana de Armas), a young woman suffering from bizarre, seemingly supernatural visitations. When she falls unexpectedly – and impossibly – pregnant, Isabel’s mind cracks open even wider. Asking far more questions than it could ever answer, ‘Exposed’ ends on a note so flat and predictable that it undermines all that went before. But there are strange and memorable moments here, and a mood of eerie foreboding that’s hard to shake. Now, how about a director’s cut?