Giuseppe Capotondi's unrelenting Italian thriller opens with a suicide witnessed only by meager hotel maid Sonia (Ksenia Rappoport). The next scene finds Sonia at a speed-dating event, where she meets Guido (Filippo Timi), a beleaguered ex-cop who now works security at a secluded country mansion. And though it would be easy to forget the seemingly irrelevant opening as you watch the pair's blossoming relationship, it's best not to, since each scene loops back to an earlier one to ratchet up the tension. This may be Capotondi's debut, but he is nothing short of masterful as he treads the line separating romance, suspense, and the supernatural — it's all reminiscent of a tauter rendition of Polanski's The Ghost Writer. The knockout climax comes about two-thirds of the way through the film, rendering the tail end a punch-drunk afterthought, but that doesn't detract from the clinic in critical suspense that Capotondi gives in the film's first hour.