Against this bleak backdrop, Segel's soft-spoken neurologist, Will, returns to life with his father in fog-drenched Rhode Island, where he falls for a woman with a dark past (Rooney Mara), participates in deadly-looking, Flatliners-y experiments, and gets caught up in a tech-mystery straight out of a Charlie Kaufman movie. Shit gets wonky.
If you saw director and co-writer Charlie McDowell's previous movie, the indie breakout The One I Love, this shouldn't be a surprise. The 33-year-old filmmaker specializes in synapse-busting stories that glide between comedy and drama, teasing out whoa-worthy questions explored on theory-ready shows like Westworld and The OA. But in talking to him, it's clear his ambitious films come from a more modest, human place. "Me and Justin Lader, my writing partner, try to approach everything from a character place," he explains over the phone. "It all felt like it came from the love story, which for me was always the most important story to tell in this film."