A beast stalks an estate where two lovers are breaking up and two magic users are on a hunt.A beast stalks an estate where two lovers are breaking up and two magic users are on a hunt.A beast stalks an estate where two lovers are breaking up and two magic users are on a hunt.
It was actually really really good, and compared to the pap you get to see these days if you turn up at the cinema expecting horror fare, extraordinary. Successful horror plunges deep into fears that we have, here there's some really good stuff about sexual insecurity and fear of one's own burgeoning sexuality during adolescence, fear of pregnancy, fear of homelessness, anger about parental domination.
It's a story about Mary (played by Kate Dickie - the lead in Red Road) and her adolescent son Fergal (Niall Bruton). They're on the run and hiding in an Edinburgh housing estate. The mother clearly has supernatural capabilities and is being hunted by Cathal (James Nesbitt) who has been temporarily given similar supernatural capabilities. It's a ritualistic hunt. Nesbitt usually plays debonair blarney-spouting roles but is cast against type as the baddie here, which is quite refreshing.
There's some sort of underground feudalism going on as well, as Cathal crosses territory and has to ask a gentleman called The Laird for permission to hunt on his grounds. Maybe some secret yearnings for the feudal past going on here. What works well with all the supernatural stuff is that it's hinted that there are much larger issues at play, but these are left as mysterious.
Fergal wants to hang with Petronella, a lovely wee lassie with a short skirt who is intent on laying him from the moment he arrives on the estate. There's a good young love story here and as well a good sex scene. Mary is very keen for Fergal to stay away from Petronella and insistently suppresses him. There are some very creepy scenes where Mary dominates Fergal and warns him away from girls.
The special effects scenes work really well, but I don't want to spoil those for you, I would just say though that I felt they produced a good personification of some of the fears I've been referring to.
Anyway this is a film I would describe as a cauldron of angst and desire, I think it deserves to be seen, the audience applauded spontaneously at the end, if it didn't at least get a wide release in Scotland, that would be a tragedy. Walking back to my hotel that night (a long walk) was damned spooky given I was in the location of the movie!
- Jun 27, 2010