Julie Tsang’s psychological thriller exists in the shadows. As Kevin, a seemingly amiable young repairman, attempts to patch-up the shambling, elderly Li Na’s washing machine in her house in the middle of the woods, things start to shift under his feet. Creaks and bangs come from upstairs, a storm starts to rage outside and Li Na’s version of the truth slips and slides.
Tsang is adept at cultivating a sense of creeping dread and there’s an appealing assurance to Fix’s winding, elliptical form, which circles back on itself like a snake swallowing its tail. Fix takes its time, feeling more like a mood piece than anything overly concerned with narrative drive, though Jen Tan’s delicate, horror-inflected direction lends the piece some propulsion.
It’s at its strongest when it leans into that potent vein of absurdist dread; aided ably by Richard Bell’s quietly ominous sound design and two well-matched and sensitive performances from Tina Chiang and Mikey Anthony-Howe, whose initial stark differences in character begin to melt away, revealing two lonely figures not unalike. Chiang lends a wide-eyed and dotty sense of comic timing to Li Na against Anthony-Howe’s relaxed, good-natured energy.
It’s a shame then, that the big reveal, crammed into the final moments of the piece, doesn’t stick the landing that is so carefully set up by the hour that preceded it.
Formally, there is an interesting idea, exploring the way severe guilt can be buried deep within someone’s psyche, but it leaves for an unsettled, rushed sense of resolution.