While in Wales visiting her husband James, Adèlle tries to fix her relationship with her teenager daughter Sarah. They see a weird memorial without the plate and with the name "Annwyn" marked, and the local Dafydd explains that this would be the place where people go after dying in accordance with the Welsh mythology. Later, Sarah vanishes on the beach and the daughter of the local fanatic shepherd, Ebrill, who died fifty years ago, appears in her place. Adele makes a research trying to find how to rescue her daughter from Annway.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The concept of Annwn or Annwyn (pronounted "a-non") is not made up especially for the film or the book on which it was based. Annwn is land of the dead, the underworld or Afterlife in Welsh mythology. It is said to lay far in the west and could be accessed by the living through a door located at the mouth of the Severn once a year. Surviving from pre-Christian Celtic mythology, it's neither Heaven nor Hell in the Christian sense, and the living can enter spiritually or corporeally. This is the first film about Annwn. See more »
Ebrill is consistently mispronounced as 'Ebrith' ('Ebrydd' in Welsh, although there is no such Welsh word). There is no English equivalent for 'll' but it should be pronounced as something closer to 'Ebrych' to the 'ch' as in the Scottish 'loch' (although that sound also exists in Welsh). See more »
Can a horror film be scary and boring at the same? The Dark has an extremely good effort about equivalent to lifting one's little finger. The plot shows all the attention span of someone reading a Welsh mythology after smoking several reefers. Formulaic scare-mongering knocks you out of your seat at regular intervals, though without enlivening the story or characters much, the most interesting of which, a girl called Ebrill, is temporarily back from the dead after a number of misled churchgoers and nigh on a flock of sheep have been offered in her place.
Young Sarah arrives with her mum at a remote cottage on the Welsh coast where her dad is staying. Legends, hallucinations, nightmares of sheep and people going over a nasty bit of cliff abound and we hear of how it might be possible for some people to pop back and forth between this world and the next at a price.
Director John Fawcett, who showed promise and originality with Ginger Snaps, has here gone for banality enlivened by the most unashamed editing. If you flash a very sudden, very bright image at someone, and simultaneously make a very loud noise, they will jump. Traditionally, filmmakers have used this technique to emphasise a plot turn the appearance of the bogey-man, monster, serial killer. Fawcett doesn't bother, he just inserts it. One minute you're watching the sleep-inducing story and the next you are shocked awake by a loud crash together with a bright light. Explain it to yourself as a deep insight into the unsteady mind of one of the characters? Well if I was a character in such an insipidly put together movie I'd probably need to be deranged for fun too. The trouble with this technique is that there is no plot momentum to keep you excited until the next loud bang. After the first two, I started trying to predict the next one (wait for a false alarm, then a lull, then the bang) and with reasonable accuracy till I lost interest.
It picks up a bit towards the end, and the scares are scary, however contrived. All in all it's standard Saturday night horror fare, nothing that special. If you don't mind the clichés, sit back and go whaaaaaa (as I did!)
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