4 user

Substation (2011)

| Short, Horror, Mystery
A surrealistic noir, set in the shadowy urban landscapes of Glasgow. The mystery, and the keys to the film's meaning, are unveiled using a series of clues, in the form of symbolism and subtle dialogue.


Euan Williamson


Euan Williamson


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Credited cast:
Euan Galbraith Euan Galbraith ... Robert Crowns
Frankie MacEachan Frankie MacEachan ... Elizabeth Crowns
Nicolette McKeown ... Grace
Euan Williamson Euan Williamson


A surrealistic noir, set in the shadowy urban landscapes of Glasgow. The mystery, and the keys to the film's meaning, are unveiled using a series of clues, in the form of symbolism and subtle dialogue.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

User Reviews

"Mesmerising" says some dude on the internet
29 September 2011 | by andywingrave-172-2094See all my reviews

Now, an unbiased review of this film is something that has been coming for a long time. And sadly I'm not the person to do it justice really. I'm not a film critic by anyone's standards. Put purely and simply, I'm a film layman, and I'll make no attempt to try and second guess what the writer/director of this film was attempting when he made Substation. However, what I can do is give my honest opinion of what I thought of the film. That's what a review is, after-all.

So, if I had to sum Substation up in a word, it would be: 'mesmerising'. Without a doubt it is one of the most captivating and engaging experiences I've ever had in front of a cinema screen. I say that with complete sincerity. In my opinion, this film is all about the sound. Sure the plot and the cinematography are in a word - mind-blowing for what I believe to be this director's first short. But the sound tells a story in and of itself. It actually still hums inside of me when I think of it. The sound ultimately drives the mood, the tone, the feel and the story of the film. It left a lasting impact on me that no other piece of film has ever managed to achieve. So for that and that alone, I was blown away - before we even get into discussing anything else about the film.

So now, moving on to the plot/direction. I said at the beginning of this review that I don't care to take a guess at the story he was trying to tell, or the point he was trying to make. Ultimately that's ancillary to the experience in my opinion. I'm sure the director thinks that the point he was trying to make is as plain as day, but it definitely isn't. This is most certainly not a criticism, because the style and substance of the film is a very clear homage to classic Film Noir/Lynch and even Cronenberg in places (ok I overheard those phrases in a coffee shop one time.) But ultimately that's something to be applauded. I'm of the opinion that the best art is open to interpretation, and this is something Williamson delivers by the truckload - a film that has characters who, in my opinion, could be anyone. The fact that you are dropped into a plot unfolding with no background or frame of reference is what I can only describe as refreshing. It allows you ascribe your own motivation for the characters' actions and that I think is why this film might polarise the vast majority of people. Because ultimately some people like to be handed things on a plate, and others like to work for their intellectual stimulation. That's not to say either opinion is wrong. But if I were hiking, I'd be pitching my tent in camp latter - (I hear camp former's toilet facilities are shocking!)

I thought the acting was spot on. I think all of the actors projected the bleary monotony of it all (life that is, not the film) with conviction and I can only presume that this was intentional. However, as they say - never presume, it makes a pre out of um and e. But in short - I thought it was fantastic and the whole film was cast impeccably.

(I always thought people were joking when they told me I wasn't very funny.)

There is an awful lot to love about this film. I didn't even get round to talking about the cinematography (i know nothing about cinematography - it was pretty, very pretty).The one major criticism I would have about the whole experience is that it left me wanting more. But in summation - it's a brilliant piece of complex work from a first-time director that deserves your full attention.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Recently Viewed