Martha, an emotionally fragile mother, who moves to a remote Irish village with her husband Tomas following the tragic death of their baby daughter. Whilst there, the couple decide to take in a disturbed and orphaned autistic girl called Daisy. Uncommunicative and greatly scarred by the violent death of her parents, Daisy gradually warms to her new surroundings. But, as a series of strange occurrences begin to be linked to the little girl, Martha and Tomas begin to hear rumors from the locals that Daisy might be something far more malevolent than she seems. Written by
Female directors are too rare, particularly those willing to approach the horror genre. Walsh uses the beautiful Western Irish coast to create a bleak atmosphere of isolation and vulnerability. The plot is somewhat obvious, a young couple move away from the bright lights of London to raise a family, the wife is pregnant, and the husband has inherited his childhood home in Ireland, but the neighbour's child Daisy is suspected of being a fairy changeling, born in a fairy ring on Halloween. The Neighbour's son is killed under mysterious circumstances and the parents are soon to follow, the child is then adopted by the London couple, the motivation for this aspect of the plot is addressed but remains unconvincing. The superstitious locals become increasingly scared of young Daisy. The film lacks originality but has some redeeming qualities, the child actress Mhairi Anderson who plays Daisy is remarkable, providing a genuinely disturbing performance, the cinematography and score combine to give the film a unique character that is tense and compelling. The theme of fairies and the supernatural remains unaddressed which is frustrating, it is never made clear whether the girl suffers from autism, is very disturbed or is really a fairy changeling, a question left unanswered deliberately by the director, but in a clumsy way, that doesn't encourage the audience to feel sympathy for the girl, who is properly identified neither as victim nor as aggressor. Despite the flaws The Daisy Chain, a combination of Straw Dogs and the Wicker Man, is a beautiful and at times moving addition to the horror genre.
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