James returns from juvenile prison where he was convicted of drowning a boy whose body was never recovered. He bids a tender farewell to his cellmate and lover and joins his mother who is reluctant to have him back in his life. James' uncertainties concerning the boy's death are made worse by his having blacked out at the time due to an epileptic seizure. He goes back to the area where the incident happened and begins questioning people. He befriends next door boy Damien and wants to meet his childhood friend Anthony who was also questioned for the boy's disappearance. Anthony is a creep who forces himself sexually on Damien and blackmails a local coffee shop owner for money because he seduced Anthony as a minor. Slowly James starts to uncover patterns and realizes that the secret is more mysterious than he thought and may have something to do with Anthony's mysterious family. Slowly questions arise on what happened to Anthony's little sister; why did the two young kids take another kid with them and he drowned. Was their sexual misconduct involved and why did Bettina disappear? James uncovers these secrets by eventually finding the bodies of the two kids.
The films follows a linear pattern with flashbacks thrown in, but is confusing at many points. Why does James visit the old lady with the dogs and what is her contribution? Whats the real story of Anthony's family? Was Anthony abused? Why does he sexually prey on Damien? What happened with Bettina and whats the exact role of Anthony's elder brother Jay? None of these questions are answered and the viewers and supposed to deduce the conclusions. And this is where the screenplay falters. A slow-burn drama like this needs at some point to ditch the ambiguities and settle on clear motivations and resolutions. But the film never does that and it gets frustrating at the end. On a positive note, the cinematography of the film is brilliant. The mood of the film created goes very well in creating a tense atmosphere. Also sexuality is touched upon interestingly. James is gay and Anthony too (or is he just someone who likes to dominate?). In a small town like theirs, its never made an issue aside from a homophobic slur or two from the margins. Performance wise everyone does a splendid job. James performance as a guilt ridden adult who just needs to find the truth about the young boy is handled very well. Anthony's character remained not very clear to me. Maybe he is just overshadowed by all male member family.
I like mystery films and was hoping more from this, but sadly a lack of a clear story line makes this experience slightly frustrating. None the less, its not a bad film in this genre. Please don't expect this to be a gay mystery. The characters just happen to be gay and their sexuality has nothing to do with the central plotline of the film. (5/10)