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The Terms (2010)

A father and son forge a twisted pact: one shot will decide between freedom and death.



(screenplay), (story)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Ciaran Flynn ...


A father and son forge a twisted pact: one shot will decide between freedom and death.

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Short | Drama





Release Date:

22 May 2010 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Bleakly engaging with a poetic but yet sparse delivery
23 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Living together high on the farmland of Ireland, a father and son despise each other and their place in the world. When the son tries to burn the house to the ground, the father proposes a simple pact whereby the son either lives to leave and seek a new life or, more likely, is killed from a single shot in the back at a predetermined distance.

There is not a lot of color in this film and it is something that appears to be deliberate. The sight of a burning wooden house against a background of rolling green countryside could have been a vision of color an contrast but even the flames have a certain drabness to them. This fits with the feel of the film which is one of simmering resentments and matter-of-fact hatred. The relationship between the father and son seems to have gotten to the point long ago where this animosity has become just a fact of life and thus there are no big emotional scenes when it comes to the two of them.

This gives us the weird tone we have here as the characters talk through things in a bleak but honest fashion, reaching macabre conclusions and agreements. The relationship is filled in by this way but it is the pacing and poetic nature of the dialogue that mainly engages and it is well delivered by the two actors in a way that fills in the blanks with convincing characters – convincing at least in the context of the situation we have here. It is a bleak film in look, tone and content, but it is engaging with it, with a poetically sparse delivery that works well.

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