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Out of Bounds (2003)

Not Rated | | Drama | 31 October 2003 (UK)
18-year-old Louise is stuck in a run-down girls' boarding school in the heart of the English countryside. Her only consolation, during the long cold nights, is Matthew, the American art ... See full summary »


Merlin Ward


Merlin Ward

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Complete credited cast:
Sophie Ward ... Veronica Van Huet
Sophia Myles ... Louise Thompson
George Asprey ... Matthew Van Huet
Michael Elphick ... Lionel Stubbs
Celia Imrie ... Dr. Imogen Reed
Julia Barrie Julia Barrie ... Isabelle Benallack
Richard Huw Richard Huw ... David Benallack
Chris Humphreys ... Detective Inspector Amer
Kelly Salmon Kelly Salmon ... Phoebe Benallack
Rachel Ibbotson Rachel Ibbotson ... Francesca
Jason Rush Jason Rush ... Police Officer
Tom Delmar ... Taxi Driver


18-year-old Louise is stuck in a run-down girls' boarding school in the heart of the English countryside. Her only consolation, during the long cold nights, is Matthew, the American art teacher and second husband of the headmistress, Veronica Van Huet. Trouble is, half term is looming and Louise cannot bear the thought of being away from her lover for a whole week. So she persuades Veronica to let her remain at school, ostensibly to do extra study for her exams. The holiday begins and the vast Victorian building is a spooky shell without the other pupils. Louise and Matthew grab the first opportunity to be together, but in their haste expose in every way their intimate relationship. Veronica, despite her considerable hurt and anger, does not expel Louise from the school, as she is acutely aware that her husband is the one truly responsible. She is also keen not to have a row with Matthew as she needs him now more than ever. In a conspiracy with the school's doctor, Veronica and ... Written by Merlin Ward / <merlin@creativewizard.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...a spooky, sexy thriller...




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 October 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Allein in der Dunkelheit See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Color (Fujicolor)
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Did You Know?


Michael Elphick died before release. See more »


Detective Inspector Amer: Good evening, Mrs Van Huet. I see you've got another dead woman in your hall.
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User Reviews

Brilliant Brit Movie!
13 October 2003 | by moviemediaSee all my reviews

This shocker of movie comes highly recommended in several recent reviews, and foolishly I've been dragging my heels on giving it an eyeballing - but now I've cracked, and what a treat to behold! Writer Director Merlin Ward's movie debut OUT OF BOUNDS, is a genuine beacon of classy Brit storytelling, shining brilliantly against the usual slew of boring Brit fare, punch drunk on easy come easy spend lottery funds. Ward is a true left brain, right brain entrepreneur, having courageously funded his own movie and surrounded himself with the best in the business to realise this incredible result. Here's a story that delivers classic tension right from the opening titles - and which had me sweating on the edge of my seat till the final terrific twist in the tail - which I genuinely didn't see coming! The fine performances Ward extracts from his cast is a sharp measure of raw professionalism, and his stars Sophie Ward (no relation), Sophia Myles and understudy national treasure Celia Imrie, should be proud to add this outing to their career portfolios. Stealthily underlying the action, composer Mark Ryder's deadly score is an unnerving cardiac backcloth, worthy of Hitchcock's chilliest - and a very natural marriage to Ward's taught and frugal direction.

In the set up, boarding school student Louise (Myles) pleads with her sexy headmistress Veronica (Ward) to let her stay on at school during half term, ostensibly for extra studies. But oh dear, the seemingly innocent little girl happens to be a regular item with Veronica's hunky American hubby and fellow teacher, Matt (George Asprey). So what happens when Veronica finds out? and does Ward's dark and driving script visually live up to the graphic shock horrors that inevitably follow? For my own part, I needed a couple of Lorazepam after what you might call one of Celia Imrie's more interesting scenes!

For those lucky enough to see it, Sam Raimi's wonderful US movie A SIMPLE PLAN, creatively eclipsed the more media bullish but greatly inferior FARGO. In the same way, Merlin Ward's OUT OF BOUNDS does just this to all those tired British wannabe thrillers with nothing on board but a fat promotional budget. Clearly, OUT OF BOUNDS is a great Hollywood movie in all but country of origin, and if lacking in multi-million pound promotion, still has a massive audience in waiting, by way of good old fashioned word of mouth. Press Play and enjoy!

Roger Hopkins

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