When it comes to scary movies, sometimes eerie subtlety can rival the goriest slasher film. That is definitely the case when it comes to Alex Karpovsky's Rubberneck, a twisted tale of obsession. When Paul, a quiet scientist, has a one night stand with his beautiful co-worker, Daniel, he believes they are on the cusp of an all-consuming love affair. He has practically picked out matching his and her bathrobes by the time the evening has concluded. For Daniel though, their tryst was a drunken error that she has clearly forgotten about. During their awkward second encounter, she makes it clear that she's just not that into him.
What follows are eight months of creepy pining from afar. Paul spies on Daniel, while trying (and failing) to date other women. Despite pleas from his concerned sister, Paul cannot give up on his co-worker. When she begins casually dating a handsome new hire, Paul is livid. He begins stalking them and developing a plan to win her affection. He meddles in their relationship in a manner that leads to severe consequences. It doesn't take long before his fixation consumes him.
The film's hauntingly unique screenplay is suspenseful and heartbreaking. Paul manages to remain a sympathetic character even though he is gravely flawed. Rubberneck's harrowing climax is what makes it one of the best film's at the Tribeca Film Festival this year.