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Stars: Ed Stoppard, Sophia Myles, Paul Kaye, Greg Wise, Russell Tovey, Joanna Vanderham, Kenneth Collard, Isaac Andrews

Director: Adam Wimpenny

Recovering from a breakdown, Ben (Stoppard) finds a new career as a lecturer and, reunited with his wife Rachel (Myles) and young son (Andrews), blows his savings on a house in the country.

Blackwood, however, is not the property for anyone with a fragile mind. There's a clock that's stopped but still chimes the hour, electricity that seems to be turned on and off by an unseen hand, and the shadow of feet outside the couple's bedroom door.

An old flame of Rachel's (Wise) and his new girlfriend (The Paradise's Vanderham, under-used) pay a visit, but do little to quiet Ben's mind, as he senses figures running around the house, sees someone outside flashing a light and discovers that a shellshocked war veteran (Tovey), may have murdered his wife and child on these very premises.

And a previous tenant is now in a catatonic state and pens dark drawings with birdlike figures that may relate to the past, present or even future.

This seems to be well-trodden haunted-house territory, but there's a twist in the tale that it would be unfair even to hint at - but may confound your expectations. Stoppard and Myles are just adequate, but the story's the thing, although Wise's roguish Donnie catches the eye as the subtlest performance around. It's a cracking yarn that chiller fans should enjoy and even have fun working out.

David Quinlan

UK 2013. UK Distributor: Wildcard Films. Colour (unspecified).
89 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 30 Jul 2014