THE MAN IN THE ORANGE JACKET (2014)
A business executive (Aris Rozentals) lays off hundreds of harbor workers after they go on strike. He and his wife (Anta Aizupe) plan to escape the stress by taking an Italian vacation. On the evening before the trip, one of the fired workers (Maxim Lazarev) slips into their home. He is identified by part of his uniform: an orange safety jacket. Although his immediate actions reveal a murderous intent, revenge is only the initial step.
This feature-length debut from Latvian director Aik Karapetian is a fresh and wholly unique horror film that deals with themes of revenge, class struggle and madness. Once the antagonist exacts revenge, he embraces the lifestyle of his victims. He takes over their house. He wears their clothes. He eats at the same restaurants. However, wallowing in wealth and decadent acts only provides a temporary respite from the stark reality of his crimes.
Working as both social commentary and as a REPULSION-style character study, MAN IN THE ORANGE JACKET lays an unblinking eye on the aftermath of its lead anti-hero and, within his very routine, tries to find the origins of his madness. Deliberately paced and tinged with moments of exquisite violence, MAN IN THE ORANGE JACKET offers the audience a trip into a history and place they were never aware of, much like the recent Latvian sci-fi VANISHING WAVES. An impressive, frightening journey into the heart of madness that also takes in concepts as varied as financial crisis, social status and the state of the individual. Like a Latvian HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, this is stark, brutal and unexpected cinema at its most raw. (Rodney Perkins)