Aussies know creepy, with movies like Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Piano (okay, Jane Campion's from New Zealand, but whatever). The Well takes creepy beyond these mildly disturbing pictures, shot entirely with a blue-tinted lens filter and dealing with a presumed dead man who's been tossed down a well.
Shades of I Know What You Did Last Summer notwithstanding, The Well explores what happens when two women -- one an older, crippled spinster (Pamela Rabe, who looks like a vaguely female Tom Wilkinson) and a young girl she takes into her home (Miranda Otto, who has the largest head on earth) -- conspire to dispose of a dead man who the young girl hits with their car during a joyride. He's sent down the titular dry well, only for the girl to hear him calling for food, light, and her love. Then there's the little matter of the women's money... which may very well have gone down the well also, hidden in the man's pockets.
Creepy, sure, and the spinster's devotion to the brat is even creepier. It's filled with nuance -- shades of sexual politics, the meaning of friendship, and the lengths people will take to avoid having to do real work. Not to mention, whether that dude down the well is really dead.
All this atmosphere, however, is unfortunately saddled by a laconic, go-nowhere story encapsulating the main plot points. Nearly half the film has gone by before the ladies hit the man with their car, and we quickly realize that the first half has basically been a waste of time, introducing countless characters who then vanish from the film altogether. Dream sequences and countless pauses while the two leads stare silently at each other fill more of the time. It's an attempt to create a mood, but much of it fails to elicit more than a yawn.
The Well wins points for its creative use of filters and silence... but those looking for a real creepshow will probably be left wanting.