Between Worlds (2018)

When young Billie tragically falls into a coma after a near-fatal motorcycle crash, she seems to become possessed by the soul of a woman desperate to contact someone in the world of the living. Can her mother and angsty trucker Joe rescue her own soul, and reunite its possessor with the loved one they are looking for?

Starring the infamous Nicholas Cage as its main character, Joe, Between Worlds is a brand new paranormal romance that promises as many thrills as playing top online pokies Australia at your favourite online casino.

The movie focuses on grimy, rough-around-the-edges Joe as he struggles to make his rent as a truck driver while grieving the recent loss of his daughter and wife. Although his wife Mary (played by Lydia Hearst) constantly pleads with him to stay with them, Joe’s love for the open road simply can’t be dampened – although the guilt sets in when his family ends up dying in a tragic fire while he’s away.

However, his story takes a turn when he rescues Julie, a mysterious woman with a unique paranormal gift, from being strangled at a road stop. Julie can travel to the afterlife and back whenever she suffers a near death experience, and is desperately trying to find her own daughter Billie (Penelope Mitchell) after a motorcycle accident leaves her in a coma.

After pairing up as kindred spirits, the two leads head to the hospital to help Julie find her daughter… but encounter an astonishing twist in the story instead.

Despite its fascinating storyline and unique premise, critics have hailed Between Worlds as the kind of film one would go to see in the hopes of catching Cage in another one of his classic punk rock roles, and not a piece of history. As one review put it, Between Worlds hasn’t quite figured out how to make the most of Cage’s powerful energy in a productive way.

Still, there’s a lot of action to behold in writer-director Maria Pulera’s paranormal tale, which puts just enough chaos and eeriness on the table to keep viewers immersed. Sadly though, this dynamic just doesn’t manage to stay on the rails long enough to retain the nuance of human emotion, but there is hope.

The film’s dark, angsty appeal will remind many of some of the formative flicks of its main actor’s career, while also being creepy enough to conjure up exactly the atmosphere it aims to achieve.

There’s more good news, too. There are plenty of scenes in which Nicholas Cage goes ‘full Cage’, and his expressionist performance skills are as intense as ever in the new release. Universally, there seems to be plenty to like about Between Worlds, and when looking at it on paper, it seems like the ideal movie to channel Cage’s late-career oomph in the right direction.

However, as for whether or not the world’s audience considers it too flat to shine is still to be seen.

Between Worlds officially debuts on December 21, 2018.

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