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Outcast

5/10

Stars: Kate Dickie, James Nesbitt, Niall Bruton, Hanna Stanbridge, Ciar√°n McMenamin, James Cosmo, Therese Bradley

Director: Colin McCarthy

Both in its theme and its cinematography, this is a very dark horror film about a mother and son (Dickie, Bruton) on the run, whose latest bolthole of refuge is an Edinburgh council estate. Pursuing them,, and determined to kill the boy, is Cathal (Nesbitt) who, with his adviser Liam (McMenamin) meets the local Laird (Cosmo). 'Seeking and divining I'll allow,' agrees the latter. 'But you're not allowed to consult.'

So far, so murky. Local girls, including Dr Who's Karen Gillan, soon start to disappear at night,and Dickie puts a curse on the local social worker (Christine Tremarco), who soon joins the pile of corpses.

Meanwhile, Bruton has palled up with local tart Petronella (Stanbridge), who's warned off by his mother. Lots of mystic blood/paint symbols appear on walls, and birds get eviscerated, as Nesbitt, who may or may not be the boy's father, tries to locate his whereabouts.

The piece is moody and well-acted, especially by Dickie, but slips into familiar movie monster horror at the end. And the monster? Clue: you wouldn't like him when he's angry.

David Quinlan

Ireland/UK 2009. UK Distributor: Vertigo. Colour.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 04 Dec 2010