Complete A-Z list



Stars: Holly Weston, Stephen Walters, Sadie Pickering, Jonathan Readwin, Sacha Dhawan, Sol Heras, Colin Tierney

Director: Simeon Halligan

A promising first feature from director Halligan, even if much of the acting is on the tacky side, with the cast giving stilted rather than full-blooded performances. The premise, of course, is foolish, but it's the mechanics of terror which validate many of its scenes.

Five young people drive to an isolated part of north Wales to track down and photograph some kind of wild beast that's been killing sheep and has even attacked a farmer.

Sophie (Weston), troubled by nightmares from the past, is the focus of a quarrel on the first night over her supposed frigidity. Stomping off into the darkness, she's joined by John (Heras), whom she rejects sexually just before they glimpse something in the undergrowth, pursuing it to the now-derelict St Joseph's Academy, once a Catholic home for wayward boys.

Inevitably, something lurks within its walls, and Sophie soon finds herself a prisoner, while John has disappeared. One by one, of course, her companions are torn apart, perhaps unsurprising fates for people hunting something that rips people apart.

The film keeps up a good pace, though, and scenes of attempts to escape and subsequent pursuit through the labyrinthine passages and roofs of the academy, do have a certain urgency. Film is pretty much shot in dark blue-and-white, draining primary colours, which are kept to a bare minimum. The 18 certificate seems a little harsh.

David Quinlan

UK 2010. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope. Colour.
81 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 31 Aug 2010